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A laud of Wdmlt-rs ! which the sun still eyes
Witli rry 'lirect. as of thi.- lovely realm
Enamojrtl, arnl delighting there to dwell.
^iibligljn- m (viinrt'^^ to ^ev Plaiejlti).
^- '
23 197
Great Importance of the Island.

Its Population numerous

and comparatively civilized at an early Period.
Possesses a
continued History for Twenty-three Centuries.
Liberal Policy
of Great Britain to the Cingalese ; consequent Prosperity of
the Island.

Compared with the Continent of India.

spects of Christianity.
My first acquaintance with Cingalese
History, and Determination to examine the Antiquities of the
Island. ......
Page 1
Names of the Island of Ceylon in Ancient and Modern

their Derivation.

Geographical Description of the


its Temperature.

Geological Character.

Mountains. . . . . . 9
Succession of British Governors.
British Embassy to
Kandj^, 1763.

Fort Ostenburgh taken, and another Embassy

sent to Kandy, 1782.
Maritime Provinces of Ceylon taken,
VOL. I. b

Placed under the Madras Government.

Made a
King's Colony, and Hon. F. North appointed Governor.
lamc Talawe.
His Character.

Makes Proposals to the

British Governor, 1799.

Repeats them in 1800.

Macdowal sent Ambassador to Kandy. Extraordinary pro-
posals to the King.Failure of the Mission.War with the King
of Kandy.

His Capital taken.

Mootoo Samy proclaimed


Treaty concluded with Him.

Another Treaty con-

cluded with Pilame Talawe.

His Conference with the British


British Treatment of Mootoo Samy.

Garrison in Kandy attacked.

They abandon
the Town.

Surrender. Are massacred by the Kandians. Fate of Moo-

too Samy.

Escape of Corporal Barnsley.

Major Davie.

Ensign Grant.

Defence of Dambadennia.

Noble Conduct
of the Malay Officers.

Captain Nouradeen.

Kandians at-
tack the Maritime Provinces.

Are Repulsed.

The Kan-
dian Army Routed.

1804, Captain Johnson enters the Kan-

dian Country.

Takes Kandy.

Passes on to Trinkomalee.

Page 17
Proceedings at the Kandian Court.

Attempt to Assassi-
nate the King.

Execution of Pilame Talawe, 1812.


Unparalleled Cruelty of the King to the family of

Eheylapola, 1814. Other Acts of his Cruelty. Sir Robert
Brownrigg Governor.

The British Army enters the Kan-

dian Country

Is joined by the Natives.

The King taken
and dethroned.

The whole Island united under the British


The last Kandian King. His Death.

racter. Kandian Rebellion of 1817.
Rebellion suppressed,

Fate of the Rebel Leaders Wilbawe, the pretended

Authority of the Native Chiefs abridged.


Sir Edward Barnes's Government.

Public Roads.

Robert Wilmot Horton, Governor, 1831. Abolition of all com-
pulsory Services, 1832.The Charter, 1833.Natives declared
eligible to fill every office.
Admitted into the Legislative

New Judicial System.

Abortive Conspiracy of
Native Chiefs and Priests, 1834.

Rapid Improvement of the



Education. . . Page 43
Preservation of the Native Annals from b.c. 543, to a.d.

Ancient Cingalese Courts.

Plurality of

Trial by Ordeal.


Extraordinary Murder.

Complaint against a Rhodia.

Kandian Form of

Number of Cingalese Kings.
iLength of their Reigns at different Periods.
Proportion of
violent Deaths. Female Sovereigns: Anoola

Donna Catherina.
of a Cingalese Monarch.

List of the Kings of Ceylon, from

543 B.C. to A.D. 1815
Start from Colombo for the purpose of Elephant Shooting.

Kellania Ganga. Canoe.

Death of King Bhuwaneka Bahoo


Banks of the River.

Native Breakfast.

Hangwelle Rest-house.

Carrion Crows.

Lebuna. Hangwelle.

Rev. Mr. Chayter.

Evening in the Interior of Ceylon.


Road to Avisavelle.




Rogue Elephants.

Wild Elephant.
Snakes.Pigeon Shooting.Land Leeches.Chatty Bath.

Rest-house Dinner. Tobacco Smoking. Moschetto Curtains.

Breakfast Driving large Herd of Elephants.


Lieutenant H seized by an Elephant.

return to Colombo.

A Cordial.

Elephant's Head. 102

A Second Start for Elephant Shooting,

Modehar of Hang-

Native Garden.Porcupines.


Follow Two Elephants.

The country near Hangwelle.

Unceasing Harvest.
Excessive Heat.


Brandy and Water.

Elephant Charge.

Fatal Accident
Return to Hangwelle. Deaths by Elephants.

Major Had-
dock. Mr. Wallett.
Extraordinary Escape.

Page 133
Set out for Adam's Peak.

Ancient Temple at Kellania.

Visited by Gautama Buddha.

Queen of Kellania Tissa.

Her Death.
Fate of the High-priest Submerging of the
West Coast of Ceylon.

Wihari Dewi.

Native Potters.

King of Kandy defeated at Hangwelle.

Cowardice and
Cruelty.Seetawaka.Raja Singha the Apostate.Longevity.
Ceylon Bird of Paradise.

Mountain Scenery.


Ratnapoora. . . . . . .151
Mr. Turnour.

Start from Ratnapoora to ascend the Peak.




Cingalese Forest.


Metal Frame of the Sacred Footstep.

hammedan and Hindu Pilgrims.


tain Torrents.


Ascent from Diabetme.

gends Seetla-ganga.

Pilgrims bathing.

Summit of the
Ridge. Mohammedan Traditions.

Ascent of the Cone.

Iron Chains.
Ladies ascend the Peak.

Description of the

The Sacred Footstep.

View from Adam's Peak.

Deiya Guhawa.

llesting-place of Buddha.
dinary Night Scene.

Traditions of the Peak.Thermometer.


Temple of Saman.

From Ratna-
poora to Caltura.

The Kalu-ganga.
mander Wood. Caltura to Colombo. . . Page 165
Road to Kurunaigalla.Flowering Forest-trees.


King Sirisangabo.
Terraced Rice-fields.
huts. Allow.

Ruins at Kurunaigalla

a Capital of the

Story of Vasthimi.
Cane Bridge.

Pertinacity of Elephants.


Native Attendants

Their Habits

Their Character Ancient Stone Bridges.

Great Stones riven from the Rock by Wedges

shaped by

Nuverakalawia. Customs in that

Arrival at the ancient and long-abandoned Capital

of Anuradhapoora. ..... 187
Situation of Anuradhapoora.

Founded B.C. 500.
of Gautama Buddha.

Walls of the City.

Its Extent 256

square Miles.

Known to Ptolemy.Knox visits it in 1679.

Account of Knox.

Court of the Sacred Tree.

The Brazen

Sixteen Hundred Stone Pillars. Kandian Punctilio.

Place of the Royal Funeral-piles of Ancient Kings.

Chewing Betel.


Monumental Tombs of Bud-

dha's Relics.


King Dootoogaimoonoo's


Glass Pinnacle on a Spire.

Glass known in Ceylon as a Protection against Lightning

prior to a.d. 246.


Ruins of Toopharama.

Beautiful Columns.

Abhayagiri built b.c. 76.

Its Height then 405 feet.


Contents of
its Dome
436-071 cubic yards of Masonry.
Ancient Native

Ruins of the Palace.

Escape of King Elloona.

Death of King Elala.Curious Injunction regarding his Tomb.

Pilame Talawe.


Cells for Priests.


Stone Vessel.

Ancient Native Account of Anuradhapoora.

Prince Sali. Former Population of Ceylon.

Second Visit to


Native seized by a Crocodile.

Scene at Nuwarawewa.


View of the Forest-
covered City. ..... Page 206
Desolate Country.

Devil Dancer.

Curious Ceremonies.

Wild Scene.

Tank of Tamenawille.

Surgical Operation.


The Doric.

Natives assembled for a Pearl

Pearl Fishery.


Shark Charmers.

Value of the Fishery.Theories in Europe regarding Ancient

Trade of Ceylon, and the Paumban Passage.

Objections to
these Theories.
Embassy to Rome from Ceylon.

Malabars and Mohammedans.

Ceylon connected
with the Continent.The Ramayan.Price of Pearls.Kudra-
Native Canoes. .... 242
To Madampe.Pepper Garden.

Crocodile Charmers.Crocodile Hunt.Catching Crocodiles.

Ganges Stag.

Immense Tree.


Noosing a wild Elephant.

Elephant Shooting.



Driving Elephants.Chuny.

Wild Elephant's Tail amputated. . . . 270

Exhibition of Buddha's Tooth. Splendid Procession.De-
scription of the Tooth.

Its Caskets.

Its Sanctuary.

ings made to it.

Sacred Music.

Handsome temporary

Native Dresses.


Town of Kandy.

Burial-ground of the Kandian Kings.

Priests receiving Alms.

The Pavilion.
The Grounds and Scenery.

Moral Laws
of Buddha.

Buddhist Priesthood. . . Page 290

Kandian Festivals.

Festival of the New Year.

for Priests' Ordination.

The Peraherra.

Festival of Lamps.
Festival of New Rice.

Gods worshiped in Ceylon.

known God.


Demon Worship.
Planetary Wor-
Offerings to Ancestors.

Ceremonies at naming Child-

Marriage Ceremonies Funeral Ceremonies.



Buddha Rays. . . .314

Kandy to Matale.

Ballakadawe Pass.

Great Bee-tree.



King Vigeya Pala.

Venomous Snakes.Hooded Snakes.


tain of Gongawelle. Aluewihare Rocks.

Buddhist Bible.

Cingalese Lady One Hundred Years of Age.

First Visit to
Stopped by Elephants.
Eheylapola Adikar's His-
Butchery of his Wife, Family, and Relations by the Kan-
dian KingGaulama, Demon-bird. Great Owl.

Goddess Patine.Small-pox.Vaccination.Parental Affec-
tion.Curious Amusement.Native Christian Village of Walia-
kotta.Gasco Adikar. His Fate. Raja Singha's Treatment
of the Fair Sex.Church at Wahakotta.

Kandian Oculist.

Medical Practitioner.
Cases of Hydrophobia.

View from
the Kalugalla-hella Pass.

Reach Dambool. . Page 339



Rock of Dambool.Pilgrims.Excavated Templesof Ma-

Law-suit and Perjury.

Gigantic Statue.

ha-Raja Temple.

Native Painting.

Passpilame and Alut


Extensive View.


Dambool Kapurall killed.

Remains of the Kalawa

Tank. Immense Embankment.
Ruins of Vigittapoora.

Its siege, b.c. 162. Ticks.

Ascent by Stone
Antiquities. Mihindu and Sumitta.


Elephant killed with an Arrow.

Tusk Elephants.

of Elephants. ..... 367
Start for the ancient City of Polannarrua.


Their Leaves, Flowers, Fruit.


Flying Squirrel.

Flying Fox Jungle Path. Accidents to Post-office Run-


Mortality amongst Wild Animals.

Killed Curious case of circumstantial Evidence. Baggage-

Wild Buffaloes.

Lake of Minneria.Rest-house.



Evening at the Lake.


Minneria to Polan-

Large Elephant.

Its Extent.

Ruined Temples.
Rock Temples and colossal Statues.

Bears. Inscriptions.
Great Mass of Stone conveyed eighty
Miles by Land.
Cingalese Royal Race. . 391
Exhibition of Buddha's Tooth at Kandy Frontispiece.
A Modeliar killed by an Elephant Page 143
Adam's Peak . 178
Cane Bridge 196
The Brazen Palace . 215
Ruins of the Byagiri Dagoba at Anuradhapoora . 220
Ruins of Toopharamaya .... . 226
Pillar belonging to the Palace . . . . 241
Buddha's Tooth . 292
An Adikar and other Figures in Costume . 298
Tombs of the Kings at Kandy . 300
Entrance to the Jaitawanarama 415
Maha Raja Temple at Dambool
Noosing Elephants in the Forest
Temple of Buddha's Tooth at Kandy
. 54
Patience ! and ye shall hear what he beheld
In other lands, where he was doom'd to go
Lands that contain the monuments of Eld.

Great Importance
the Island

Its Population numerous and

comparatively civilized at an early period.

Possesses a con-
tinued History
Twenty-three Centuries.

Liberal Policy
Great Britain to the Cingalese; consequent Prosperity
the Island.

Compared with the Continent



Acquaintance with Cingalese His-
tory^ and Determination to examine the Antiquities
The beautiful scenery of Ceylon, its mild climate,
rich vegetation, and some of its valuable natural
productions, have already been made known to the
British public. The immense consequence of this
island, from its position, and the harbour of Trin-
komalee, could never have been overlooked
; so
long as the British crown holds sway in India, or
British merchants shall trade to the East, its im-
portance can hardly be overrated: now, however,
not only are the resources of this country, its most
remote valleys and elevated plains, better known
to Europeans ; but the history of its inhabitants
and of the island, its former state and late im-
provement, equally excite curiosity and demand
attention. From the native chronicles we find,
that the ancestors of a people whom Britons long
regarded as savages, and for some time treated as
slaves, existed as a numerous* and comparatively
civilized nation at a period antecedent to the dis-
covery of Great Britain and its semi-barbarous
The ancient and continued annals of the Cin-
galese race have been preserved for upwards of
twenty-three centuries, and describe the erection
or formation of all those extensive works,cities,
tanks, temples,whose ruins and numerous inscrip-
tions remain to verify the historical records. For
a great proportion of that long period the natives
of Ceylon will be found to have remained sta-
tionary, or to have retrograded in arts, perhaps in
intelligence ; whilst Britons, advancing in civiliza-
tion with extraordinary rapidity, benefiting by ex-
perience, and improving in policy, have voluntarily
I think no one who examines the great and general re-
mains that evince the extent of population once scattered
over Ceylon, will be inclined to reckon the number that must
have been at one time in the island at less than five millions
of people.
abandoned their arbitrary rule in the island, for
a mild, free, but still efficient Government. From
this circumstance Ceylon is already advancing be-
yond that barrier of mediocrity, which in Asia
seems to have arrested mind and manners at a par-
ticular point of civilization.
Institutions suddenly, yet not rashly reformed;
direct taxes on cultivated land first moderated,
then carefully arranged, fairly levied, and finally
redeemed ; a whole people passing in an instant
from a state worse than slavery to all the blessings
of freedom, with perfect safety to the Government,
and incalculable benefit to the subject; a rapid
improvement in the face of the country
a most
beneficial change in the native character
diminished taxation; rapidly increasing
a prosperous and happy people; and, it is not
too much to say, an improved climate,

are the
effects of the later years of British authority in
Additional interest is given to the changes so
happily introduced into this island, by its con-
tiguity to the vast possessions of Great Britain in
The order of the King in council, abolishing compulsory
labour in Ceylon, was, according to instructions, immediately
promulgated. Thus the people were at once freed from op-
pression, or dependence on any individual, and, owing no
obedience except to the laws and Government, could no longer
be compelled ;

of course, they would not from choice rise up

in behalf of their former oppressors, whose dignity at first
suffered by this act of sound policy and active benevolence.
India; for although the same legislation that has
proved so successful in Ceylon, might be inap-
plicable to the neighbouring continent, yet the
relative prosperity of their inhabitants cannot fail
to provoke comparison, as it certainly invites in-
Another subject of very great interest is, the
genera] introduction and rapid diffusion of the
English language : this paves the way for Chris-
tianity, which, it requires but little foresight to
predict, must gradually, perhaps rapidly, extend
itself over the great majority* of the natives of
Immediately after my arrival in Ceylon, attracted
to the jungle by the novelty of elephant shooting,
I enjoyed the excitement of that noble sport, the
display of luxuriant forest landscapes and distant
views of the Kandian mountains, from which rose
the famed and mysterious Peak of Samanala.f
Admiration of mountain scenery, and a partiality
for antiquities, next induced me to visit the Peak
and on my way I had the good fortune to nieet
Mr. Turnour (then agent of Government in Saffra-
gam),| and by him was informed that, notwith-
standing the disparaging assertions of English
writers on Ceylon, there were still extant con-
I see little prospect of converts from among those profess-
ing the religion of Mohammed.
Called Adam's Peak by Europeans.
The district in which Adam's Peak is situated.
tinued native records of great antiquity. I found
that he had already arranged an Epitome of the
History of Ceylon from b. c. 543, and that he
had visited the gigantic monuments and far-spread
ruins of its most ancient capital. I also heard
with satisfaction that the sites of several of the
ancient cities mentioned in Cingalese history were
still unknown, or at least had remained unnoticed
by Europeans. This information determined me
to acquire some knowledge of the Cingalese lan-
guage, and to search for those vestiges of anti-
quity which could farther verify the native chro-
On ascertaining the nature of my pursuits on
this subject, Mr. Tumour afterwards allowed me
to transcribe his epitome of native history, which
has since been published.* By his permission,
that epitome is contained in this work. In return
for his kindness and liberality, I am pleased to
think that, in visiting all the ancient cities of
note mentioned in their records, I have been the
means of furnishing many new proofs of the au-
thenticity of the native annals, and that I have
this opportunity of stating my admiration of the
judgment and accuracy with which Mr. Turnour
has arranged and abridged the Cingalese history.
I now submit to the public an account of jour-
neys undertaken in prosecution of the design which
In the Ceylon Almanac for 1833.
I had adopted ; with remarks, which are the re-
sult of my observations during eleven years' re-
sidence in Ceylon. For the greater part of that
time, along with a military command, I held civil
employment as assistant-agent and district judge
of Matele in the Kandian provinces. In the
course of my wanderings I omitted no opportu-
nity of sketching the scenery, antiquities, or sub-
jects of sporting interest that passed before me
at the same time, I was enabled to procure draw-
ings of the varied costumes of its inhabitants,
and of the brilliant flowers and magnificent forest-
trees that blossom in the "Eden of the Eastern
For some time I directed much of my attention
to the discovery of inscriptions, which I found in
great numbers sculptured on rocks in every part
of the country. Many of these (not copied with
sufficient accuracy, or in the Nagara character)
remain undeciphered
but from what has already
been translated, and the ruins which have been
examined, I am satisfied that farther proof of the
general accuracy of the native chronicles is not
Cingalese history is authenticated by
the concurrence of every evidence that can con-
tribute to verify the annals of any country."
Introduction to Mahawanso.

That most im-

historical work of Ceylon (the Mahawanso) has been
translated from the Pali, and the first volume is already pub-
lished. It is found to contain fragments of Indian (continental)
I have indulged a hope that these illustrations
may excite an interest in the British public, and
enable it to form some idea of the features of a
country surpassingly rich and beautiful, and of the
history of an ancient people (lately freed from
tyranny and despotism) now increasing in pros-
perity, and rapidly raising themselves in the scale
of civilization.
The authentic history of the country having been
scrutinised and abridged by Mr. Turnour, I after-
wards turned my attention to a period of time
and a people generally supposed to be for ever
flooded in the night of Eld," and commenced
an inquiry into the traditions and legends of Lanka,
and its aboriginal inhabitants, previous to the in-
vasion of the Singha race, b. c. 543. In this de-
partment my success has not been great ; but my
endeavours may excite attention, even if my views
fail to produce conviction, or should eventually
prove erroneous. At all events, I indulge a hope
that individuals possessing greater advantages, and
with more leisure, may hereafter profit by the facts
history, particularly of that last period of the ascendancy of
Buddhism and its general prevalence in Hindostan
also of that
period where the writers of the East and of the West meet in the
only point which has, as yet, been found common to the re-
cords of the Greeks and the history of any Indian nation, viz.
the reign of the Buddhist sovereign of India contemporary
with Alexander the Great and Seleucus, called Sandracottus
in the Greek, Chandragupta in the Sanscrit, and Chandagutto
in the Pali annals.
I have collected, the localities I have ascertained,
and the traditions I have recorded, during my
search for history amidst those dim receding ages
into which the ever-rolling wave of time has cast
back the earliest records of our race.
Embassies from regions far remote,
From India and the Golden Chersonese,
And utmost Indian isle Taprobane.

the Island
Ceylon in Ancient and Modern Times

Their Derivation.

Geographical Description
the Island

Its Temperature,

Geological Character,


Laka, Lanka, Lankawa, Laka-diwa, Lanka-dwipia,
or some variety derived from these words by dif-
ferent terminations, or epithets prefixed, are the
most ancient appellations of Ceylon to be found
in Sanscrit or Cingalese writings.f Laka is the
Elu (ancient Cingalese), Lanka the Sanscrit name
t The names given to Ceylon in the times of Gautama's
three predecessors as Buddhas, were :
In the time of Kakusanda Buddha, it was called Oja-dwipia.
In the time of Konagamma, it was called Waradwipia.
In the time of Kasyapa, it was called Madadwipia.
These names are only mentioned in the account of the Buddhas.
of the island. I think it probable this name was
derived from Laka, or Laksha (one hundred thou-
sand, or multitude), and diva, or dwipia (islands)
for Cingalese traditions mention that thousands of
isles attached to the kingdom of Lanka were over-
whelmed by the sea b. c. 2387, along w4th the
splendid capital of Sri-Lanka-poora, which stood
to the westward of any part of the present island.
I am aware that other derivations have always been
given, but I see no reason to approve of them,
when the same name, Lakadive, which is that of
the cluster of islands at no great distance from
Ceylon, has always borne the same simple deri-
vation that I now suggest. If there is any truth
in the Ramayan, or the Rawena Katawa of Ceylon,
the Maldives and Lakadives were then part of the
kingdom of Rawena; and along with the great
extent of Lanka, which was submerged, and the
peninsula of India, formed the kingdom
over which he ruled.
Dwipia,island of Nagas,if not used for
whole island, is a name employed by Buddhist
for that part of its western coast which
lies around
Kellania ; but does not appear to have
been in use after the invasion of Vijeya, B.C. 543.
I am inclined to suggest that the name of Tam~
Tambapanni, Tambrapanni, of the Pali his-
torians, which has been corrupted into Taprobane
by those of the western world, may have had its
origin when Vijeya and his followers made known
their first conquests in Lanka to the race from
which he was descended, and from whom he had
been expelled. It was in the district of Tamena,
or Tambana, or Tambapanni, that Vijeya landed,
and for a considerable time his force seems to
have been confined to that portion of the country
in fact, until after his surprise and massacre of the
inhabitants at Sri Wasta Poora, not less than three
years after his landing.* After this, he founded
the city of Tamena.f
It appears that Kuwani, the daughter of one of the ab-
original chiefs, bore three children to Vijeya^, and he discarded
her after he had made himself master of the country by this
Various reasons induce me to conjecture that the district
of Tamana was the present district of Tamankada ("Kada" is
limit or frontier). There are many villages called Tamana, from
a tree of that name, common in the flat and northern parts of
the island; and there is a commonly received opinion amongst
Cingalese, that one of them, on the western side of the country,
near Putlam, occupies the site of Vijeya's capital, although there
are no remains of it. But the antiquarian accuracy of natives
can no more be trusted than their etymological deductions : as
a specimen of the latter, I shall quote, from Tumour's transla-
tion of the Mahawanso, the derivation of the name of Tambra-
At the spot where the seven hundred men,
with the king
(Vijeya) at their head, exhausted by (sea) sickness, and faint
from weakness, had landed out of the vessel,
supporting them-
selves on the palms of their hands pressed on the ground, they
sat themselves down. Hence to them the name of
pannis ' (copper-palmed, from the colour of the soil) : from this
circumstance, that wilderness obtained the name of Tamba-
from the same cause, also, this renowned land became
celebrated (under that name)." This derivation is manifestly
The most common Dame of the island is Singhala,
variously written Sihala, Sihalen, Singhalen, Cey-

derived from Singha, or Siha,* the race to

which Vijeya and his followers belonged. They
were exiled by his father, who ruled over a country,
Lala, whose capital, Singhapura, is probably the
same as Singhea on the banks of the Gunduck,
where the site of an ancient city is discernible,
encumbered with numerous ruins and Buddhist
The island of Ceylon is in length, from Point
Pedro to Dondera Head, two hundred and seventy-
five miles, with an average breadth of one hun-
dred miles, and a superficial area of twenty-five
thousand square miles. The northern and east-
ern provinces are flat, and subject to long-con-
tinued droughts. The central, the western, and
absurd ; for, besides the numerous villages, and a district in
Ceylon called Tamana, there is the district and river of Tam-
braparni in the southern peninsula of India ; and the writer of
the Mahawanso, in a previous chapter, had already stated that
Vijeya "landed in the division, Tambapanni, of this land,
From Singha (the Cingalese word), Siha (the Pali), with
the addition of dwipa, diva, dua, div, dib, all signifying island,
we have numerous corruptions of Seren, Zeilan, Ceylon,

Seren dib, Seilan div, &c.

provinces are moist, comparatively cool,
and favourable to the cultivation of cocoa-nut,
coffee, and cinnamon
Although the island is
of north altitude, and
of east longitude, it enjoys
a much more temperate climate than countries
position would be considered
favourable. From its size, the sea-breezes
range across it; and the great elevation of the
mountains not only insures a certain degree of cold,
but attracts so many clouds and so much moisture
as to insure the evergreen of its forests, and un-
ceasing cultivation of the fields, over one half of
the country. The side of the great Kandian
range of hills nearest to the eastern coast par-
takes in part of the deficiency of moisture which
distinguishes the maritime provinces nearest the
range ; and it is remarkable that on one side of
these hills the climate is moist and cool, its vege-
tation rich and continually refreshed by showers,
while on the other side, except during the rainy
season, there prevail oppressive heats and parch-
ing winds.
"At Colombo, the mean daily variation of the
temperature does not exceed
while the annual
range of the thermometer is from
Fahrenheit. At Trinkomalee, the greatest daily
variation is 17,
and the annual range from 74^
I believe sugar-cane has also been successfully cultivated
within the last two years.

to 91^. At Kandy, the mean daily variation is
and the annual range from
up the hills, at Nuwara Ellia, a military conva-
lescent station, the mean daily variation is as high
while the annual range of the thermometer
is from 35^ to 80^. In Colombo, the quantity
of rain that fell during the year 1830 was one
hundred and two inches ; of which eighty-one inches
fell in the months of April, May, October, and
There is no appearance whatever of volcanoes
in Ceylon, or that such ever existed; and, with
regard to its rocks, I shall quote Dr. Davy, the
best authority on the subject, who says,
mity of formation is the most remarkable feature
in the geological character of the island. As far
as my information extends, the whole of Ceylon,
with very few exceptions, consists of primitive
rock." The gems found in Ceylon are not in ge-
neral of much value ; and the ruby, the most valu-
able, is rarely met with.
The rise of the tides in Ceylon does not exceed
three feet ; and the harbours are inlets of the sea,
in nowise depending upon the tides, and altogether
unconnected with the rivers.
Although there are no natural lakes in the
island, probably no country is better watered by
rivers, and innumerable streams and rills, than the
Colonel Colebrooke's Report ; Commission of Inquiry,
hilly country of tlie interior, and tlie
territory ; whilst the ingenuity and labour of the
earlier inhabitants, by the construction of immense
reservoirs,artificial lakes,had almost rendered
them independent of such droughts as usually occur
in the revolution of seasons.
With regard to the population of the island,
as might naturally be expected, the returns, until
the abolition of compulsory service, were so much
under the real numbers, that from them no guess
can be formed of the general increase ; but it is
probable that, in as short a time as can be calcu-
lated on from data in other most favoured por-
tions of the globe, Ceylon will again contain the
same numerous population it must once have pos^-
sessed, and which it is still capable of supporting.
By the last census, in 1885, the returns gave the
amount of population about 1,250,000, and showed
that the number of males exceeded that of the
females by one-tenth part. The return of 1824 only
gave a total of 852,000.*
Adam's Peak was, for many years after
British possessed the country, considered
The returns of the maritime provinces prior to the taking
of the Kandian country showed an increase of
rapid, that I should be inclined to attribute it to the inaccuracy
of the lists from the cause above mentioned :
Population of maritime provinces in 1814, 475,883

of ditto ditto in 1824, 595,105

Increase 119,222
highest mountain in the island, although its
height is only seven thousand four hundred and
twenty feet : while the Wilmantalawe (part of the
Horton plains) is now found to be seven thousand
feet ; and three mountains, Suduhugalla, Totapella,
and Lunugalla, rise from that elevated region, and
reach from seven to eight hundred feet above its
level. Although to European constitutions the
cool temperature of the elevated plains is pecu-
liarly agreeable, they were entirely uninhabited by
Kandians ; the limit of rice cultivation and native
population being the same, as the one is partly
dependent on the other, and both are checked by
the cold at an elevation not exceeding four thou-
sand feet. The convalescent station of Nuwara
Ellia is six thousand two hundred and ten feet
and the mountain Pedro-tallagalla, which bounds
it on one side, rises to a height of eight thousand
two hundred and eighty feet above the level of
the sea.*
These heights were furnished to the Ceylon Almanac by
Lieutenant-colonel Fraser, Deputy Quartermaster-general.
The nightly ambuscade,
The daily harass, and the fight delay'd,
The long privation of the hoped supply.
The tentless rest beneath the humid sky.

British Governors.

British Embassy to Kandy,

Fort Ostenhurgh taken, and another Embassy sent to
Kandy^ 1782.

Maritime Provinces
Ceylon taken,

Placed under the Madras Government.

Made a King's
Colony, and Hon. F. North appointed Governor.
His Character.

Makes proposals to the British

Governor, 1799.

Repeats them in 1800. General Mac-

dowal sent Ambassador to Kandy.

Extraordinary proposals
to the King.

the Mission.

War with the King


His Capital taken.

Mootoo Sdmy proclaimed

Treaty concluded with Him

Another Treaty con-

cluded with Pildme Taldwe.

His Conference with the British


British Treatment
Mootoo Sdmy.

Garrison in Kandy attacked.

TTiey abandon the Town.


Are massacred by the Kandians,

Mootoo Sdmy.
Corporal Barnsley.


Ensign Grant.


the Malay

Captain Nouradeen.

dians attack the Maritime Provinces

Are Repulsed.
Kandian Army Routed.

1804, Captain Johnson enters the

Kandian Country.

Takes Kandy.

Passes on to Trin-
Succession of British Governors in Ceylon,
the taking
the Island in 1796 ^o 1837.
The Honourable the Governor of Madras in
Council. Administration commenced 26th Febru-
ary, 1796, terminated 12th October, 1798.
Honourable Frederick North, (afterwards Earl of
Guildford,) 12th October, 1798, to 19th July, 1805.
Lieutenant-general the Right Honourable Sir
Thomas Maitland, G.C.B., 19th July, 1805, to
19th March, 1811.
Major-general John Wilson, Lieutenant-gover-
nor, 19th March, 1811, to 11th March, 1812.
General Sir Robert Brownrigg, Bart., G.C.B.,
11th March, 1812, to 1st February, 1820.
Major-general Sir Edward Barnes, K.C.B., Lieu-
tenant-governor, 1st February, 1820, to 2nd Fe-
bruary, 1822.
Lieutenant-general the Honourable Sir Edward
Paget, K.C.B., 2nd February, 1822, to 6th No-
vember, 1822.
Major-general Sir James Campbell, K.C.B., Lieu-
tenant-governor, 6th November, 1822, to 18th Janu-
ary, 1824.
Lieutenant-general Sir Edward Barnes, G.C.B.,
18th January, 1824, to 13th October, 1831.
Major-general Sir John Wilson, K.C.B., 13th
October, 1831, to 23rd October, 1831.
The Right Honourable Sir R. Wilmot Horton,
G.C.H., 23rd October 1831, to 1837.
Summary of the liistory of British affairs in Cey-
lon, from A.D. 1763 to 1837.
In 1763, the Madras Government despatched an
embassy to the Kandian King, Kirti Sri Raja
Singha, which not only failed to produce any satis-
factory result, but is known to have left no favour-
able impression of British power or policy on the
minds of the Kandians. In 1782,
Fort Ostenburgh,
at Trinkomalee, was taken possession of by the
British fleet, under Sir Edward Hughes, and a body
of troops commanded by Sir Hector Munro. Soon
after this event, and during the short period which
the British force retained possession of this har-
bour, the Government of Madras sent another em-
bassy, under the charge of Mr. Boyd, who landed
at Trinkomalee, and in travelling from that place
to the residence appointed for him in the vicinity
of Kandy, appears to have occupied a whole month,
although the distance is only a hundred and thirty
miles. The natives along this route had been di-
rected to furnish provisions for the persons com-
posing the embassy, but were forbidden to receive
payment, and in returning, Mr. Boyd was informed,
that two natives of Wehigalla, whom he had remu-
nerated for supplies which they had furnished, had
been executed for disobeying the King's commands.
From the mild and humane character of the King
who then reigned, Rajadhi Raja Singha, I disbe-
lieved the story, and, on inquiring at the village,
ascertained that no such execution had taken place
for, although it was forty-eight years since the em-
bassy had passed, I found several persons who re-
collected the most minute circumstances which
occurred on that occasion. The falsehood told to
the ambassador was no doubt intended to convince
him of the energetic despotism of the King, as well
as to exalt the royal hospitality.
1796, a British armament from the south of
India, under the command of Colonel Stewart, took
possession of all the towns and territory held by
the Dutch in Ceylon, comprising the whole sea-
coast, and a belt of unequal breadth all round the
island ; it is this territory which is usually deno-
minated the Maritime Provinces. However able
the arrangements, or efficient the force, the war-
like operations were not of a nature to excite in-
terest, or require detail, even Colombo, strongly
fortified, and fairly garrisoned, made no resistance.
Ceylon remained for two years under the govern-
ment of Madras, and during that short period, some
disturbances occurred, and considerable dissatisfac-
tion was created by the employment of natives
from the continent of India, in collecting the re-
venue, and other duties, which, under the Por-
tuguese and Dutch, had always been efficiently
performed by the Cingalese headmen.
Ceylon was taken from under the au-
thority of the East India Company, and the Ho-
nourable Frederick North arrived as Governor. In
the same year, the Kandian King, Rajadhi Raja
Singlia* died without issue, and the interest and in-
trigues of Pilame Talawe, (the first Adikar,) en-
abled him to raise to the throne Kannasamy,
nephew of one of the Queens, by the title of Sri
Wikrema Raja Singha. The King was then only
eighteen years of age, and Pilame Talawe, under
sanction of the royal authority, commenced a sys-
tem of falsehood, cruelty, and bloodshed. His de-
ceptions, and he appears to have been most unac-
countably successful in them, were principally prac-
tised on the British Governor, and those employed
by him in diplomatic and military affairs ; as for
the Kandians, they knew the first Adikar too well
to be deceived by his cunning, although they
cumbed to his power, and suffered by his cruelty.
His objects were to get rid of his enemies, amongst
whom he reckoned all who could resist, or might
interfere with his schemes of ambition, and to allow
the odium of murders committed by his direction,
to fall on the handsome puppet on whom he had
placed a crown, which he intended to transfer to
his own brows ; this result he expected to accom-
plish, either by the open assistance of the British
Government, or by secret treason, and the assassi-
nation of the King.
In 1799, Pilame Talawe sounded the British
Governor, as to the degree of assistance he might
The King who had co-operated with the British when
they took possession of the maritime provinces from the
hope for in carrying into effect the schemes of am-
bition he had for some time meditated, and was
now impatient to execute. He proposed that the
British should aid him to ascend, and then sup-
port him in possession of the Kandian throne,
which was to become vacant for the minister by
the assassination of his master. In return for their
co-operation, this King in prospect, regicide in
intention, and traitor in fact, proffered his friend-
ship; and promised political advantages to the
British Government.
Again in
1800, Pilam6 Talawe persevered in
bringing forward the same insulting proposals,
and urged the British Governor to connive at, or
assist in his schemes of villainy.
8oon after these overtures. General Macdowal
was sent as ambassador to Kandy to propose to
the King that, for his own protection, he should
retire into the British territory; and from there
should exercise supreme authority, whilst Pilame
Talawe was to possess a delegated power in the
Kandian provinces, protected by a British subsi-
diary force. One can hardly believe that these
proposals were intended to insure the personal safety
of the King, although this is implied by the historian
of that period, Cordiner, who was himself on the
; they appear much more fitted to accomplish
all the views of the first Adikar ; and as the quarter
from which
danger to the King might be expected
was not to be communicated to him, the interfer-
ence of the British Governor was sure to be deemed
impertinent, and must have been regarded with
suspicion. From these arrangements, it might at
first appear that the Adikar was to acquire sub-
stantial power, while the British Governor was to
play protector to a royal semblance; but the real
scope of these proposals can scarcely be regarded as
so short-sighted in point of policy, although it may
be difficult to defend them on the ground of mora-
lity. British troops were to be insinuated into the
Kandian country; and considering the character
of the intended native viceroy, Pilame Talawe,
they must either have fallen victims to his crooked
policy, or have secured the country to the British
It is difficult to imagine what delusion could
have led any one to expect that a suspicious, jea-
lous, and haughty despot, who styled himself, in
his counter-proposals,
King of Lanka, as great
amongst men as Iswara amongst the gods !
delegate all power to his minister, and transfer his
own person from possible danger to certain re-
straint. As might have been predicted, the mis-
sion was a total failure ; and the same consequences
resulted from this, as from former embassies, viz:
that they ministered to the vanity of the Kan-
dian monarch, and exalted him in the eyes of
his ignorant subjects, who contrasted the studied
splendour of the royal pageantry, with the de-
grading ceremonies enforced upon the British re-
Our embassies and negotiations were numerous
from 1798 to 1803
and, certainly, they neither
raised us in the estimation of the Kandians, nor
procured from them protection for our native sub-
Pacific measures, on the part of the British Go-
vernor, having been invariably followed by increas-
ing insults from the Kandian court, active opera-
tions and open warfare were at length commenced.
On the 81st January 1803, a division of the army
under General Macdowal, marched from Colombo
to attack Kandy, at the same time that Colonel
Barbut was advancing with a large force from
Trinkomalee. The two divisions, amounting to
about three thousand regular troops, united on the
banks of the Mahawelliganga, three miles from
Kandy, and next day, 21st February, having crossed
that river, the British forces entered the Cingalese
capital, which had been abandoned by the enemy,
and was on fire in several places.
Colonel Barbut, with a strong party, then re-
turned to Trinkomalee, and escorted from there
Mootoo Samy, a brother of one of the Queens
of Rajadhi Raja Singha. This prince asserted
that he had a better right to the Kandian throne
than its possessor ; but this may be doubted, as,
in addition to the right of possession, the King,
de facto, had been duly inaugurated, after being
formally approved by the Kandian people ; how-
ever, the British
Government, deeming it advisable
to support the pretensions of Mootoo Samy,
proclaimed him King of Kandy, and then enter-
ed into a treaty with him as an independent
The stipulations
were impolitic and ungenerous,
for the articles to which this titular King assented,
would have
transferred from the Kandian monarchy
the only valuable possessions of which he had not
already been despoiled ; and, although the chiefs
of the districts to be ceded* might be insensible
the calls of patriotism, self-interest formed a surer
bond to unite them against a nominal king,
had made such ruinous concessions.
The articles of convention between Mootoo Samy
and the British, were arranged about the 8th of
March, and one of the clauses provided
that he
was to receive an auxiliary force from the British
settlements, if it should be found necessary for the
maintaining of his authority. Yet, on the 29th of
the same month, we find that at a conference held
between General Macdowal and Pilame Talawe, it
was agreed that the de facto King should be de-
livered over to the care of the British Government,
that Pilame Talawe should be invested with su-
preme authority in Kandy ; that he should pay about
three thousand pounds annually for Mootoo Samy,
The seven Korles, Matalai, and Taniankada.
and, besides other advantages,
cede to the British
the same valuable
provinces that Mootoo Samy had
agreed to sacrifice.
Previous to this conference,
on the 12th of
March, the British
still duped by the
Adikar, and at his
had despatched two
strong parties under
Bailie and Colonel
Logan on a meteor chase to seize the King
; these
detachments were of course
and re-
turned after suffering considerable
After this, at the request of Pilame Talawe,
the British Governor agreed to meet him personally,
and for that purpose proceeded to Dambadennia
in the Kandian provinces, and there the Adikar
arrived on the 3rd of May. At this
the treaty previously arranged between the traitor
minister of the Kandian King, and the British
Commander of the Forces, was formally ratified
by the representative of his Britannic Majesty
now thought that the Adikar was sincere, and that
he had at length determined to act with good
faith."* It was afterwards ascertained that the
Adikar had intended to seize the person of the
Governor, and was only prevented from carrying
his plan into execution, by the accidental and op-
portune arrival of Colonel Barbut with a strong
party of Malays. The treatment of Mootoo Samy
by the British authorities at this time is indefen-
sible on the plea of necessity, and nothing, less
could afford any justification. Mootoo Samy is
described as being mild and amiable ; his right to
the Kandian throne was proclaimed by the British
they brought him to the capital ; they saluted him
as King ; they offered to support him with a military
yet, but a very few days after this, without
any fault on his, or misfortune on their part, they
deliberately conclude, and afterwards ratify a treaty,
by which he was to become a pensioner on one
they knew to be a villain, ready to commit the
very worst of crimes, yet whom they were about to
raise to supreme authority over the Kandians.
The garrison in Kandy becoming sickly, a great
part of the troops were withdrawn from there to
the maritime provinces
and on the 1st of April the
garrison was reduced to three hundred Europeans,
and seven hundred Malays, and Indian artillery,
besides a considerable number left sick in hospital.
Colonel Barbut, who held the command, after at-
tending the Governor at Dambadennia, was seized
with fever, and being conveyed to Colombo, died
there on the 21st of April. On the 23rd of May,
General Macdowal returned to Kandy, but was
attacked with fever, and left it for Colombo on
the 11th of June ; after which. Major Davie of the
Ceylon regiment, succeeded to the command in
After seizing the Kandian capital, no measures
of sufficient energy secured the advantages acquired
by the British troops
the surrounding country
was left unsubdued, and the King, at a short dis-
tance off, was permitted to assemble the people,
who began to recover from their panic. The season
proved unhealthy ; the natives gradually approached,
and closing around the town, cut off the commu-
nications and supplies of this fated garrison, until
on the night of the 23rd of June (emboldened by
knowledge of the general sickness from which
the British force was suffering), the Kandians
took possession of lines, which, within musket-shot
reach, commanded and looked down upon the
frail buildings in which the British forces were
Next day, they were attacked by large bodies
of Kandians, goaded on by their chiefs, who were
aware that on an eminence, secure from danger,
a merciless monarch was watching their conduct,
and would assuredly take a cruel revenge on who-
ever should prove timid or unsuccessful. After
seven hours' fighting, and suffering considerable loss.
Major Davie, who commanded the British troops,
displayed a flag of truce, commenced negotiations,
and accepted terms, which appear to have been
dictated by Pilame Talawe, although the slightest
reflection ought to have convinced the British com-
mander that treachery and cunning formed the only
stable principles of the first Adikar's policy. Ma-
jor Davie abandoned his sick, trusting to the faith
of a barbarian, who promised that they would be
sent after he had departed, and then proceeded
with- all the troops that were able to march, to the
Wattepolowa ferry on the Mahawelliganga. He
found the river swoUeft from the heavy rains which
had fallen in the mountains, and of course the
canoes, which were to be furnished by the Kandian
minister, were not only withheld, but everything
which could facilitate the passage of the river had
been removed.
Major Davie made no attempt to recede from
the position which he first occupied,a green hil-
lock, crowned by a shady bo-tree, close to the bank
of the river

yet, by a vigorous attack, he might

have dispersed the rabble of half-armed, unen-
ergetic, and timid natives by whom he was sur-
rounded, and might then have ensured his passage
of the river, or by some other route have regained
the British territory. Two circumstances which
happened in the following year, I consider fully
justify these remarks ; the first was the total
defeat of the Kandian military array (united under
the eye of the King), by onJy a hundred men,
mostly convalescents, under Captain Pollock
; the
second event was, the triumphant march of Captain
Johnson's party, from one extremity to the other
of the Kandian country, in the course of which
he took its capital. The circumstances connected
with these affairs will be detailed in their proper
order of time ; but it must be remembered that
on these occasions the success of the Kandians
(over Major Davie's troops), had given them a con*
fidence in their own courage, which they had never
before felt, and soon discovered to be fallacious.
Major Davie must have been devoid of energy,
and destitute of mental resources, when he
ceeded to violate the British faith, and the first
duty of a soldier, by surrendering to certain death
the unfortunate prince whom we had tempted to
assume a nominal sovereignty. Mootoo Samy, his
five relations, and a deserter, were given up at the
demand of the Kandian chiefs, who, in return, pro-
mised to fulfil their former engagement, of fur-
nishing canoes for the troops to cross the river.
Is it possible, that the triumphant arms of Eng-
land can be so humbled as to fear the menaces of
such cowards as the Kandians ?
was the just and
natural exclamation of the unfortunate prince, on
hearing that he was to be delivered into the hands
of his furious rival. Mootoo Samy and his friends
being taken before the King, he ordered their in-
stant execution, which took place on their removal
from the royal presence, by the krises of the Kan-
dian Malay guard : at the same time, the deserter
was impaled; and, six weeks after, eight of the
prince's attendants, deprived of their noses and ears,
made their appearance at the fort of Trinkomalee.
Major Davie had no right to expect, and did
not deserve that such conduct should free him from
the difficulties of his situation ; on the contrary, it
elevated the spirits of the King, and stimulated
him to attempt that act of atrocious cruelty, which
suited SO well with his cowardly character. He
desired the Adikar and the chiefs to put the Eng-
lish to death. Some of his favourites were after-
wards employed to request that he would mitigate
the order, saying,
It is just that your enemies
should be deprived of their property, and be de-
tained as
prisoners, but not that those who submit
should suffer death." The King was furious at this
opposition to his wishes, and hinted at the former
treasons of his minister, whose overtures to the
British Governor were known, although their extent
was not then suspected by the King ; for Pilame
Talawe had sufficient art to deceive the tyrant, by
deluding and betraying the British, when he found
them unwilling to forward his nefarious schemes to
their fullest extent. He was now, however, disin-
clined to commit an act which he was aware would
for ever prevent his renewal of the secret nego-
tiations with the British, through whose assistance
he still hoped to reach the summit of his ambition.
The danger of retaliation, and just revenge, was
also put in his view by more than one of the chiefs
but the indirect threats of the King having dissi-
pated the selfish scruples of the minister, he im-
mediately proceeded to gratify his royal master,
by carrying into effect the order he had received,
with that mixture of cunning and cruelty which
were the prominent features of his character. He
first persuaded the wretched commander of the
British troops to leave his men, and to bring some
of his officers to the place, a little nearer Kandy,
where the chiefs had established themselves, and
which was removed from the view of the British
position. The remainder of the party were then
informed that these officers had crossed the river
a mile higher up, and that all, leaving their arms
behind, were to be removed in small parties to join
the officers on the
opposite bank. In this manner,
unarmed, and only two or three at a time, the
soldiers were conducted by Caffres, renegade Ma-
lays, and the lowest Kandians,* until each party
arrived at the edge of a bank, where they could
no longer be seen by their remaining comrades;
they were then suddenly stabbed, or butchered in
various ways, and their dead bodies were rolled
down into the ravine beneath.
At the same time that the European troops were
massacred near the river, the whole of the sick,
in number a hundred and fifty,f
one hundred and
twenty of whom were soldiers of the 19th British
regiment, who had been left behind in hospital,
The Gahalas, who were compelled by custom, and inured
by practice, to perform cruel executions, which were certainly
repugnant to the Cingalese character and Buddhist religion,
although apathy and terror prevented successful resistance to
the crimes of tyrannical rulers.
The massacre of one hundred and fifty sick soldiers,
lying helpless in the hospital of Kandy, left under the pledge
of public faith, and the no less treacherous murder of ihe whole
British garrison, commanded by Major Davie, which had sur-
rendered on a promise of safety, impress upon the Governor's
MAJOR Davie's troops. 33
were slaughtered in the town of Kandy ; the dead,
dying, and sick, having been thrown promiscuously
into a pit prepared on purpose.*
As nearly as can be ascertained, the troops, under
the command of Major Davie, on the banks of the
consisted of seventeen officers, twenty Euro-
pean soldiers, two hundred and fifty Malays, and
one hundred and forty gun Lascars. How many
of the Malays and Lascars were sacrificed on the
26th of June, I could not ascertain ; but from the
information of survivors, I believe but few suffered,
as the King vainly expected them to enter his army
and serve him faithfully. Major Davie and Cap-
tain Rumley were intentionally preserved from the
slaughter of Europeans ; Captain Humphreys, and a
sub-assistant surgeon, during the confusion, rolled
themselves down the side of the ravine into which
the bodies of their comrades were tumbled. After
concealing themselves for some days, they were dis-
covered, taken before the King, and ordered to be
confined. The sub-assistant, in September, escaped
to Colombo
Captains Rumley and Humphreys
were soon cut off by sickness; Major Davie sur-
vived several years, and died about 1810: he ex-
mind an act of perfidy unparalleled in civilized warfare, and an
awful lesson recorded in characters of blood, against the mo-
mentary admission of future confidence."
Extract from Sir Robert Brownrigg's official declaration on
taking possession of the Kandian country.
Davy's Ceylon.
isted unmolested, latterly almost unnoticed, in
Kandy, and, I am informed, was not easily to be
distinguished from a native. This unfortunate man
therefore expiated his errors of judgment by linger-
ing out his existence in a miserable captivity ; and
we may mitigate our severe opinion of the inde-
fensible acts of this unfortunate commander, by
imagining how much the scenes of sickness and
suffering which he constantly witnessed may have
affected his mind. We also see that his superiors,
with better opportunities of information, were equally
the dupes, and only by good fortune escaped be-
coming the victims of Kandian treachery.
Amidst the mass of dead in the ravine near
Wattepolowa, grievously wounded, and tormented
by thirst, lay Corporal Barnsley, of the 19th regi-
ment, having a deep cut of a sword on his neck, and
a contusion from the blow of a club on his head.
Towards night, having felt returning strength, he
determined to exert his remaining energies in at-
tempting to escape. When it became dark, he con-
trived to disengage himself from the festering heap
of his slaughtered fellow-soldiers, and, although
suffering excruciating pain, swam across the river.
In his feeble state the kindness of various natives
relieved him from hunger and thirst, at great peril
to themselves, and this is one of many proofs
that the cruelties of which Kandians have been
guilty were to be attributed to the vices of their
rulers, and is no inherent part of the native cha-
racter. Corporal Barnsley reached the post of Fort
Macdowal, in Matale, eighteen miles from Kandy,
and, along with its garrison, escaped to Trinkomalee,
and recovered from his wounds. On hearing from
this man the fate of the troops under Major Davie,
the officer who commanded at Fort Macdowal aban-
doned nineteen sick Europeans,* and that same
night commenced his retreat to Trinkomalee. At
this period the conduct of Ensign John Grant, of
the Malay corps, deserves to be particularly remem-
bered, as exhibiting a proof of what the firmness and
courage of a few men well commanded could effect
against a multitude of undisciplined natives, even in
the intoxication of their undeserved success over
larger parties. Ensign Grant had only fourteen
European convalescents and twenty-two invalid Ma-
lays to defend the unhealthy post of Dambadennia
against thousands of Kandians ; but having strength-
ened the place by a breastwork of rice bags and
other stores which had been under his charge, he
bade defiance to the open attacks of the natives, and
treated with contempt their treacherous offers of
protection and promised safe conduct in case of his
surrender. After maintaining his post for ten days,
a reinforcement arrived, and the gallant party re-
tired to Colombo.
After the surrender of the force under Major
Davie, the native officers of the Malay corps in the
British service behaved with that stern fidelity and
In the Seven Korles.
D 2
gallant spirit that shows how well they might have
been depended on had not the wavering timidity of
their superior in rank wrought out so miserable a
catastrophe. When brought before the King, they
indignantly refused the tempting offers which were
made to induce them to enter into his service ; the
threats, even the certainty of death, had no influ-
ence on their decision ; they died refusing to violate
their oath of allegiance, or compromise their strict
feelings of honour. The principal officer of the
Malays, Captain Nouradeen, and his brother, fol-
lowing his example, when brought before the tyrant,
saluted him respectfully ; but neither promises nor
threats would induce them to prostrate themselves
as they were required to do. They were then im-
prisoned for two months, and again sent for, and
offered the alternative of a command in the Kan-
dian troops, or instant death
they did not hesitate,
but firmly refused to violate their engagements to
the King of England. They were ordered to im-
mediate execution, and their unburied bodies were
left a prey to dogs and jackals. If any circum-
stance could add to the admiration with which
such noble feelings of honour in these native
officers should be regarded, it is, that their brother
was at the same time in the service of the Kandian
Many of the Malay private soldiers entered the
Kandian King's service, but took the first favourable
opportunity of escaping to their old masters ;
and at
Hangwelle they had formed a plot for capturing the
King and carrying him into the British lines, but
his cautious timidity and sudden flight prevented
the attempt from being made.
After the destruction of the garrison of Kandy,
the Kandians began to press upon the maritime
provinces, and in August, not without support from
many of its inhabitants, overran the rich district of
Matura, and occupied the small fort of Tangalle,
which had been abandoned. Captain Beaver, of
the 19th regiment, being sent against them, soon
expelled the invaders, with little loss to his own
party; and a few examples having been made of
those British subjects who had assisted the Kan-
dians, these valuable provinces of the south were
reduced to their former peaceable state. Ensign
Pendergast had already repulsed the mountaineers
from Hambantotte, which was garrisoned with in-
valid Malays, and with them he made a sortie,
which effectually dislodged the Kandians from the
neighbourhood of the salt Leways. On the 24th of
August, Mohammed Ally Ibrahim, a native officer,
sallied out from the fort of Chilaw, and drove off
a large body of Kandians with considerable loss.
About the same time Major Evans surprised and
defeated a body who had assembled for the purpose
of attacking Putlam, and the King, on hearing the
result, ordered the chief of the Kandian party to be
executed. In short, in every direction inroads were
made, and all of them were repelled with loss
amongst others, Chilaw was again attacked, and suc-
cessfully defended by Messrs. Campbell and Deane
of the Ceylon civil service, and twenty-five Sepoys
when their shot was expended they fired copper
coins upon the Kandians, and maintained the post
until relieved from Colombo.
The Kandian tyrant, insensible to advice, and
inflated by the praises of those who attributed to
his power the effects of his falsehood and cruelty,
summoned the whole force of his country, and ad-
vanced in the direction of Colombo, in hopes of
expelling the British from the Maritime provinces.
Having reached Hangwelle, eighteen miles from
Colombo, on the 6th of September, 1803, he pro-
ceeded to attack the fieldwork there, which was
garrisoned by one hundred men, mostly convales-
cents, under Captain Pollock, 51st regiment. Thirty
of these he had despatched under Lieutenant
Mercer, 51st regiment ; and when the Kandians at-
tacked the post in front, and were suffering severely
from its fire, this party, coming on their flank by a
circuitous path, through a thick jungle, caused the
whole Kandian army to give way, and following
the example of their King, they fled in the utmost
confusion. The British had only two men wounded;
but the slaughter of Kandians was great, as the
Coolies employed for the purpose buried two hun-
dred and seventy bodies next day. Many of the
Malays and gun Lascars made their escape during
this rout, and returned to their regiments :
Lascars (in this affair) had been compelled to serve
the Kandian guns, but pointed them so that no
injury was done by their fire. In the fatiguing
marches and desultory warfare of this year, the
names of Captain John Buchan, Captain Frederick
Hankey, Captain F. Von Driberg, Lieutenants
Jewel and Johnson, are particularly mentioned for
their energetic exertions in clearing the maritime
provinces of the intruders, and securing those trai-
tors who abetted the Kandians.
In 1804,
Captain Johnson, in command of a small
body of troops, had been ordered to proceed from
Batticaloe to form a junction with another party on
the verge of the British possessions; after which
the united force was to push forward into the Kan-
dian country. It appears that if this arrangement
was ever really intended, the plan was subsequently
abandoned for a desultory warfare of petty inroads,
by separate parties advancing from various points,
but with orders not to remain in permanent pos-
session of the country they might overrun. As the
original orders given to Captain Johnson were
not cancelled by subsequent instructions, as was
the case with other officers who were to com-
mand detached parties, he entered the Kandian
country, traversed its most difficult defiles, crossed
its largest river, took its capital, and only then dis-
covered that he was unsupported, and that on his
own resources must depend the safety of a detach-
ment, which at starting only mustered three hun-
dred and five men, and these were now isolated in
the very centre of an enemy's country.
It was under these discouraging circumstances
that Captain Johnson departed from Kandy to light
his way through forests for one hundred and thirty
miles to Trinkomalee ; and before crossing the Ma-
hawelliganga, the feelings of his gallant band had
to be farther depressed by passing through the field
of slaughter, and the scattered bones of their com-
rades who had composed the force under Major
: neither could they fail to call to mind that
it was a party superior in numbers to their own,
which had left so sad a memorial. However, the
same prudence, decision, and spirit in their com-
mander, who had conducted them so far, sufficed
to lead them through a host of enemies cowering
in the long continuance of the Matale forests
finally, with a loss of two officers and forty-eight
men, the party reached Trinkomalee, well nigh
worn out with continual fatigue, anxiety and suffijr-
ing. Although unsuccessful for any immediate
military advantage, and discreditable to those who
had exposed a portion of the army to unnecessary
hardships, and probable destruction, yet the gal-
lantry of Captain Johnson and his party taught
the Kandians a respect for British troops which
they had not before felt, and afterwards reluctantly
admitted. One of the chiefs who harassed Cap-
tain Johnson in his retreat, assured me that the
commander of the party must have been in alliance
with supernatural powers, as his personal escape
whilst passing through a continued ambush, and
his superior judgment and energy were unaccount-
able, unless this explanation was admitted.
In the period from which I have sketched these
details, our troops were grievously harassed and use-
lessly sacrificed; we neither conciliated our own sub-
jects, nor gained respect from our enemies ; our nego-
tiations were despicable, our policy unsuccessful.
After these exertions, the British sank into a
feverish repose in a defensive attitude; an undig-
nified and impolitic position to assume before a
cruel and treacherous enemy, to whom we might
have dictated terms, instead of appearing to forget
injuries. I have no means of ascertaining whether
our pacific or passive policy after this time, was in-
fluenced by the common and most erroneous belief
entertained of the general unhealthiness of the
Kandian country ; but that impression did exist,
and certainly continued long after experience had
proved that, if not altogether unfounded, the in-
salubrity, even of the worst portions of the Kandian
provinces, had been greatly exaggerated. The
principal causes of the general sickness and grievous
mortality amongst the British troops that had been
marched into the interior, arose from the injudi-
cious choice of wrong seasons and unhealthy routes,
in which our troops were moved; whilst the per-
manent posts were too often established in the
most pestilential places.
It was during this long season of distrust and
inactivity, as regarded the British and Kandians,
that their King was progressing in a career of guilt,
which finally led to his own overthrow, and fixed
the "emerald gem of the eastern world" in the
crown of the British monarch.
Ruin seize thee, rtuhless King,
Confusion on thy banners wait.

Proceedings at the Kandian Court
Attempt to Assassinate the
Pildm^ Taldwe, 1812.-

the King to tJw Family
1814. Other Acts
his Cruelty, Sir Robert Brownrigg

The British Army enters the Kandian Country

Is joined by the Natives,

The King taken and Dethroned.

The whole
Island united under the British Authority.
last Kandian

His Death,


Rebellion suppressedy 1818.

Rebel Leaders.

Wilbawe, the pretended King.

the Native Chiefs

Sir Edward
Barnes's Government.
Public Roads.

Sir Robert Wil-
mot Hortony Governor.

all compulsory Ser^
vicesy 1832. The Charter, 1833.
Natives declared eligi-
ble toJill

Admitted into the Legislative

New Judicial System.

Abortive Conspirajcy

the Country,


Trained to bloody deeds and treacherous
duct, the Kandian King at last became jealous of
the chief who had raised him to the throne, and
instructed him in cruelty ; the intrigues of Pilame
Talawe were certainly sufficient to excite alarm,
and if their scope had been known, to excuse any
severity which the King might have adopted. Vari-
ous acts of caprice and indecision on the part of
the monarch with regard to his minister, termi-
nated in 1812, by the dismissal of the first Adikar
from all his offices. The degraded chief imme-
diately commenced planning his revenge, and soon
contrived to bribe a considerable body of Malays
in the Kandian service to assist his schemes, which
were to be commenced with the assassination of
the monarch. Two districts near Kandy,* in which
Pilam6 Talawe had much family influence, were
gained over to assist the traitor, whose plans ulti-
mately failed from the premature insurrection of
these districts, before the murder of the King had
been perpetrated. This deed had been delayed in
consequence of their spy, one of the King's house-
hold, making it known to the assassins, that the
King was awake at the hour when they expected
to find him asleep, and seal his fate. The Malay
conspirators escaped to Colombo
six inferior chiefs
suffered death by torture ; Pilame Talawe and his
nephews were beheaded, and their extensive estates
were added to the royal domains.
Pilame Talawe was succeeded in his office of first
Adikar by Eheylapola, who two years afterwards,
without having committed any crimes deserving
Oodenuwara and Yattenuwara, near Kandy.
punishment like his predecessor, nevertheless
unequivocal symptoms of being destined to a simi-
lar fate, and escaped from the country of the jea-
lous tyrant, to place himself under the protection
of the British Government. For this step, his
wife, children, relations, and former adherents were
put to death in various ways, with unparalleled
cruelty,* and at this time the appetite of the
royal monster for blood appears to have so in-
creased with the number of victims, that in 1814
it had swallowed up every dread of consequences,
while it rejected every circumstance of precau-
tion. He had disgusted his subjects and alienated
their affections by a severe exaction of compulsory
labour, in forming the lake of Kandy ; he had ter-
rified the chiefs by confiscations and numerous
executions from their number, and the class to
which they belonged ; he had combined the priest-
hood in hostility to his government by putting to
death the second High-priest Paranataley, and
finally reached the climax of reckless cruelty,
when he ordered the mutilation of ten native
traders, British subjects, whom he tortured, so that
only three survived to reach the maritime pro-
The particulars of this will be found in the account of
Of this animosity" (on the part of the Kandian King),
a daring instance was exhibited in the unprovoked and bar-
barous mutilation of ten innocent subjects of the British Go-
At this time, tlie Governor and commander-in-
chief was Sir Robert Brownrigg, who had deter-
mined (in opposition, it is said, to the advice of the
Council), to revenge the intolerable insults and
wanton aggressions which a powerless and merci-
less despot had offered to the British power, by
dethroning the tyrant, and uniting the island under
the authority of the British crown. For this deter-
mination there are abundant excuses on the plea
of justice, protecting our own subjects from ag-
gression, and relieving the Kandian people from
a monstrous tyranny. On the score of policy, it
is now admitted to be unobjectionable ; our position,
as masters of the maritime provinces, being one
of extreme weakness, extending for eight hundred
miles in a narrow belt all round the circumference
of the island, whilst an enemy in possession of
the interior could always assemble a force, and
direct it against the most vulnerable post before the
British authorities might ascertain the point to be
attacked, or could send the necessary assistance to
the place.
Having completed his hostile preparations, and
immediately after the outrage (on the ten native
traders) already mentioned,* the Governor declared
vernment, by which seven of the number lost their lives ; a
measure calculated, and apparently intended to put a final
negative to every probability of friendly intercourse."

Sir R.
JBrawnriggs official
A party of Kandians at the same time had advanced into
the British territor}' and set fire to a village.

Davys Ceylon,
war on the 10th of January, 1815, and the next day
the British troops entered the Kandian territory.
The arrangements for this invasion were complete
and able, so that if the different divisions of the
army had
encountered opposition, the result would
not have been doubtful ; but the principal chiefs
joined the British forces, and every one fled from
the falling despot. On the 14th of February, our
troops entered Kandy, and on the 18th the King
was brought in prisoner, having been captured in
the mountains of Dombara. On the 2nd of March,
the British Governor and the native chiefs on the
part of the Kandian people dethroned the tyrant,
and the Kandians transferred their allegiance to
the British Monarch.
Sri Wikrema Raja Singha was removed to Co-
lombo, from thence to Madras, and finally to the
Fort of Vellore, in which place he died of dropsy,
30th of January, 1832, aged fifty-two years ;*
the last
seventeen of these he passed in confinement. His
features were handsome, his figure manly, and his
general appearance dignified
but the qualities of
his mind appear to have been a compound of the
meanest with the most violent passions, without
one redeeming virtue to weigh against selfishness,
cruelty, and cowardice: he was equally
of any amiable quality which could excite compas-

The King left an only son, an infant; who, along with

some other of his relations, receive trifling pensions from the
Cingalese Government.
sion for his fate, even amongst tliosc who served
about his person, or had been advanced by his
The Kandian leaders were left in possession of
their former offices, and the people were governed
according to their ancient laws ; but the chiefs soon'
felt that their influence had suffered by submit-
ting to a regular and efficient Government, and
that too a foreign one, which as yet they had not
learned to respect, and from former examples hoped
to overthrow. These were the first stimulants to
a desire for change, and the over-conciliatory man-
ner in which their headmen were treated by the
highest British authorities, not only inspired them
with a vain confidence in their own importance,
but comparing this treatment with that of their
late ruler, they came to the conclusion that
so glaring a want of dignity could only proceed
from conscious deficiency of power.
A rebellion was the consequence
it suddenly
broke out in October, 1817, and soon after its
commencement, the influential chiefs, with very
few exceptions, were either in open rebellion, in
confinement for favouring the rebels, or were only
deterred by fear or policy from immediately joining
a cause, to which they meant to adhere so soon
as anticipated success should enable them to show
their zeal, without incurring personal danger, or
possible confiscation of property. Even Eheylapola,
whose wife and family had been destroyed by the
dethroned despot, and who had himself declined
office, and only requested that he might be styled
The friend of the British Government," was ar-
rested on well-grounded suspicion of his fidelity,
and his brother-in-law, Kaepitapola, was the ac-
knowledged leader of the rebels, and the undoubted
instigator of their treason. He it was who had
employed the pretender, who appeared as King,
and was announced as Durra Sawmy, a member
of the deposed royal family. The first open act
of rebellion was the murder of a Moorman in the
forest of Welasse, by order of this puppet of a
King, the tool of those chiefs who were admitted
into the secret. This act was soon followed by
the death of Mr. Wilson, of the Ceylon civil ser-
vice, who had proceeded to the spot with a small
party of military, on receiving information of the
murder, and some mysterious whisperings of in-
tended treason ; he fell by the arrows of the Ved-
dahs, who had been summoned by the chiefs, and
were assembled in considerable numbers, and on
his death the party retired to Badulla.
The rebellion now spread rapidly; and in less
than six months, most of those districts which had
not already appeared in open insurrection, were
secretly organised for revolt, and only awaited the
fitting opportunity of joining the rebels. Luckily,
the private animosity subsisting between Eheyla-
pola and the first Adikar, Mollegodda, induced the
latter to exert his influence in support of the
British supremacy, which he had good reason to
identify with his own safety. By his influence in
the district of the Four Corles, the people there
were generally restrained from insurrection ; a ser-
vice of great importance at this period to the
British interest, as through that province lay the
principal defiles and mountain passes of the road,
which led from Colombo to the Kandian capital.
A protracted warfare of small military posts
established throughout the country, and detached
parties in continual motion, pursuing an armed
population in a mountainous and wooded country,
was naturally productive of considerable loss to
the British force; for, although few fell by the
weapons of the Kandians, exposure and privations
proved fatal to many. Driven from their villages,
their cocoa-nut trees cut down, their property and
crops destroyed, and, unable to till their land, the
natives suffered severely from sickness and famine,
besides those who fell by the fire of the British
troops, or suffered execution for their treasonable
actions. Dr. Davy, who had the best opportunities
of ascertaining the loss of life occasioned by this
rebellion, estimates that of the British at one thou-
sand; and I believe he certainly is not over the
amount, when he says, that ten thousand natives
were cut off by war or its consequences at this period.
After the rebellion had continued for nine
months, no favourable impression had been made
by the great exertions of our troops, who were
nearly exhausted by incessant fatigue, and extreme
privations in a tropical climate ; it is even under-
stood that arrangements were in contemplation for
withdrawing the British force from the interior,
when a sudden change occurred. This was prin-
cipally caused by disunion amongst the leaders of
the rebels, who were incapable of continued per-
severance in any one object, or of sacrificing their
petty jealousies and personal disputes, even to for-
ward a cause in which they had perilled their lives
and hereditary properties,

things almost equally

dear to a Kandian chief.
Madugalla, an influential headman of Dombara,
coming to an open rupture with Kaepitapola, de-
tected, and openly exposed the impostor King,
whom he placed in the stocks, and it was then
ascertained beyond a doubt, that the pretender
was a native of the village from which he took the
name of Wilbawe, and that he had formerly been
a Buddhist priest.
Wilbawe contrived to extricate himself from
durance, and escaped to the remote province of
Nuwara Kalawia ; there he had the good fortune
to remain unnoticed for fourteen years, although
at one time he was compelled to assist a party
who were searching for him near the deserted city
of Annuradhapoora. The large reward that still
remained offered for his apprehension, having stimu-
lated the perseverance of a Buddhist priest (who
was familiar with his features), he at last in his
E 2
wanderings recognised the object of his search, and,
having given information, Wilbawe was secured
in 1829. When arrested, it was found that he had
received a severe injury in the shoulder from a
wild elephant, and that hard labour and anxiety
had greatly changed his appearance, and given him
a peculiarly melancholy cast of countenance
had been a handsome man, and with features
strongly resembling the Kandian royal family, of
which native scandal said he was an illegitimate
member. He was tried and convicted, but after-
wards received a pardon by orders from Britain.
After the detection of Wilbawe, our parties were
uniformly successful, the insurgents gradually dis-
persed, their leaders fled, and the three of most
influence, viz. Kaepitapola, Madugalla, and Pilame
Talawe, were apprehended and brought to trial.
Pilame Talawe, a weak and indolent man, was a
son of the late first Adikar of the same name, but
as free from the cruel propensities of his father as
from his abilities and energy ;

he was transported
to the Mauritius. Madugalla
and Kaepitapola
were beheaded ; the latter, a man of ability, activity,
The eldest son of Madugalla, a boy about six years old at
the time of his father's death, having been educated at one of
the missionary's establishments, was afterwards admitted into
the office of Government at Matali, as a volunteer, where he
proved himself useful and intelligent. He was then removed,
and received a good appointment in the revenue department.
Soon after this promotion, having proceeded to his native vil-
lage to take possession of some of his father's lands, which had
been restored to the family, in an unlucky dispute with his aunt,
and influence, but of great duplicity of character,
when he found that cunning and subtlety were
ineffectual to save him from punishment, met
death without apathy, yet with a firmness and
courage worthy of a different fate, and better
cause. Eheylapola was not tried, nor were his
lands confiscated ; but he was banished to the Isle
of France, along with several chiefs of inferior
note. On the termination of hostilities and re-
turn to order, an entire change in the manage-
ment of the Kandian provinces was accomplished.
The paramount influence of the chiefs in the dif-
ferent districts was destroyed, by placing civilians,
or British officers, in authority over them, to col-
lect the revenue, and administer justice ; while all
the inferior headmen, instead of being appointed
annually by the chief, received their situations di-
rect from Government. This arrangement, not only
gave increased security to the Government^ but
enabled the poor native suitor to obtain that justice
which he had little chance of receiving under the
former system, where money or influence might
alike bias the judge, or direct the evidence.
We could not blame the chiefs if they had at-
having used some disrespectful expressions, her husband cleft
the young man's head with an axe which lay near. This uncle,
also called Madugalla, was the first native of rank tried before
the supreme court, when it was introduced into the Kandian
provinces in 1834. His jury of Kandian chiefs found him
guilty of manslaughter, and he received sentence of seven
years' transportation.
tempted to re-establish a native dynasty, which
was hallowed in their eyes by its antiquity, and by
conformity to the established religion
but, to call
their exertions in this rebellion patriotism, would
be to dignify it with a name of which their motives
were unworthy. Self-interest, and to restore their
own power over the mass of the people, whom they
had so long oppressed, was their principal aim and
final object : the restoration of a native monarchy
was a secondary consideration, but a necessary step
the means by which they endeavoured to accom-
plish their purpose were often cruel, and generally
treacherous. It is true, the British had acquired
the quiet possession of the Kandian country by a
convention with the people, represented by their
chiefs, and not by direct conquests ; but this cir-
cumstance was more a point of honour, than a sub-
stantial difference to the people. Their history
contained the records of many attempts to expel
foreign invaders from the land, and hitherto,
whether against Europeans or Asiatics, success had
always sanctified these endeavours. This was a
powerful incentive to the headmen, and must be
considered as a proportionably strong excuse for
their rebellion, by which they hoped to regain that
position and precedence so much valued by Kan-
dians, and which they perceived had passed from
them to rest with Europeans. Many of them must
also have felt that their indolent and intriguing
dispositions were more suited to a despot's court,
than to acquiring the habits of activity, and the
information expected from chiefs employed under
British authorities. Others judged rightly, in think-
ing it would be better to trust to the caprice of
a tyrant, than to have their merits for office too
closely scanned, or their administration of justice
too minutely examined.
After the rebellion was suppressed, no unne-
cessary punishments were inflicted ; even to the
rebel leaders, or their descendants, great considera-
tion was shown, as soon as it could be done, without
exciting the idea that our clemency was the off-
spring of timidity. Indeed, I cannot help thinking,
that hundreds of British, and thousands of native
lives might have been saved, if, at the
ment of the rebellion, a stern and severe example
had been made of the persons and property of those
who first committed acts of treason and murder,
and had taken the field in arms against the British
Government. It would have struck terror into
all classes, and have been a sufficient excuse to
the lower ranks for withdrawing to those homes
which, in the event of their remaining
would be rendered desolate
for it was no affection
for their leaders, or pretence at principle,
that in-
duced the multitude to rise in insurrection: they
had no interest in the cause, and ventured their
lives on no stronger temptation than ancient habits
of blind obedience to the chiefs, or for fear of re-
venge in the event of their success.
The Moormen (as the Mohammedan inhabitants
are called), who are numerous in several districts,
attached themselves on every occasion, and zea-
lously, to the British interest
and at the com-
mencement of the rebellion, promises were made
to them, by proclamation, with regard to their not
again being put under Kandian (Cingalese) head-
men, which I do not think were afterwards fairly
and fully performed; for while compulsory labour
existed, they were called out by, and performed
duties under, Cingalese headmen : this never ap-
peared to me either politic or just.
After the departure of Sir Robert Brownrigg,
Sir Edward Barnes, who succeeded to the govern-
ment, planned and superintended with unceasing
vigilance the opening up of the Kandian provinces,
by the formation of extensive carriage roads, and
building substantial bridges. Under him, the coun-
try derived all the benefit that could be produced
by unrecompensed compulsory labour, which was
exacted according to the customs of that despotism,
to the powers of which the British Government had
succeeded. The untiring vigilance and personal ac-
tivity which Sir Edward Barnes exerted in super-
intending public works, alone caused so vicious
a system to be of public benefit ; under any man
of less energy, unrecompensed compulsory labour
would have been an unmitigated curse, enforcing
caste, depopulating the country, and producing no
adequate results. Each subdivision of class or
caste, was called out for service by. its own head-
man, who, as he received no pay, depended for the
amount of his perquisites and peculations on the
number under him ; it was, therefore, a motive
paramount to all others in natives, self-interest,
which insured the headman retaining all the mem-
bers of his department in their original vocation
and due subjection. Not only did this system
maintain caste with the utmost strictness, but it
retained and supported in full power over the peo-
ple, those headmen whose interests could never
be otherwise than opposed to a regular Govern-
It must also be considered, that without injustice
to individuals, regularity of system, backed by
power to enforce all legal rights, enabled the
British Government to exact much more, both of
labour and revenue, than any native despot would
have ventured to demand.
In 1831, Sir Robert Wilmot Horton arrived as
Governor; and next year, in consequence of the
report of His Majesty's Commissioners of inquiry,
the Magna Charta of Ceylon, the order of the
King in council
abolishing all compulsory service,
reached the island, and the native inhabitants passed
in a day from a state more bitter than slavery to
the most perfect freedom. In their former op-
pressed state, it is true, that justice was impartially
Dated the 12th April 1832, it reached Ceylon, and was
immediately proclaimed on the 28th September 1832.
administered to the rich and to the poor, in so far
as the facts of the case could be ascertained
the rich man was disgusted by impartial conduct
in the judges, while the poor suitors did not benefit
by it ; for the rich litigant could bribe the influ-
ential native in office, and he could command the
oaths of those who, placed and secured under his
control, were not only liable to be overworked by
his orders, but were even subject to punishment at
his caprice.*
A charter soon followed the abolition of forced
labour, and the people, having already obtained
freedom, now found easy access to substantial and
speedy justice, whilst every situation was thrown
open to their competition, and the acquirements
and character of the individual, not the colour of
his skin, became the only tests of fitness for every
office. Three gentlemen, natives of Ceylon, were
introduced into the legislative council on terms of
perfect equality with the other unofficial members,
although it required some firmness on the part of
Government to carry into effect this liberal pro-
vision of the supreme Government.
Of the new system for administering justice in
Ceylon I shall attempt an outline, as it appears to
me extremely
simple, at the same time that it has
These remarks are made from my own observations in the
Kandian country, in which I held office four years before, and
for a still longer period after the abolition of compulsory
proved most efficient
In the first place, a district
judge, with three assessors, selected daily by lot,
form the District Court, which exercises exclusive
original jurisdiction within certain geographical
limits. All civil cases whatever, arising within its
bounds, must first be decided in that court
every decision there pronounced may be appealed
from, and revised before a judge of the Supreme
Court, with three assessors, on half yearly circuit
might be appealed to the three judges of the Su-
preme Court at Colombo. In criminal cases the
power of district courts was restricted, and per-
sons accused of great crimes were committed for
trial before the Supreme Court on circuits, where
they were prosecuted by the King's advocate, and
tried by a jury of thirteen intelligent persons of any
class or colour. In civil cases, where judgments
were appealed against from a District Court, the
appellant was prevented from benefitting by delay
and in criminal cases the judge, notwithstanding the
appeal, might carry the sentence into effect on his
own responsibility. Soon after the beneficial and
important changes consequent upon the abolition of
compulsory labour, and the introduction of the im-
proved system of administering justice began to be
felt, the chiefs, seeing that their tyrannical power
and undue influence were thereby abolished, con-
This plan was the proposal of C. H. Cameron, Esq. one of
his Majesty's Commissioners of Inquiry for Ceylon. The ar-
rangements for carrying it into practice were most ably per-
fected by the Chief Justice, Sir C. Marshall.
spired together, and contemplated, along with some
intriguing priests, to overthrow the British power.
The highest class did not perceive any immediate
benefit to themselves from the new system of
liberal policy, and of course were jealous of the
advantages conferred on the great body of the
people, whom they had hitherto held in subjec-
but this conspiracy showed how wise, as well
as humane, the policy was that broke at once the
rod of the oppressor, for it was by it that the chiefs
were enabled to goad the people into open rebellion
against the British Government in 1817

now in
1834, as not one of their former followers, or present
dependents, would assist in again putting the yoke
on their own necks, it was proposed to have recourse
to deception, and rouse them, during a religious
festival, by a false announcement, that the British
Government had restored forced labour, and abo-
lished the Buddhist religion. Poison and massacre
were spoken of as means to be used against the
Europeans in the Kandian country, but no plan had
been fixed
and the utter absurdity of their views
and hopelessness of such an attempt would possibly
have led to its abandonment, but it was found
necessary to check their wild designs, and several
of the principal chiefs and a few priests were ar-
rested. One of the circumstances which seemed to
have been a bond of union amongst those who at
least contemplated treason, was, that the charter of
justice, by putting all power of punishment in the
hands of the District Courts, and introducing the
English criminal law, effectually prevented the ill-
treatment of slaves, and rendered their services of
much less value. The open, even violent, manner
in which several Europeans declaimed against the
abolition of compulsory labour, and the other bene-
fits conferred upon the mass of the people in Ceylon,
no doubt had its effect on the chiefs, and in some
degree palliates their offence, which was little more
than arranging to destroy improvements which some
of their superiors too openly condemned.
In January, 1835, several chiefs and priests were
tried for treason before a judge of the Supreme
Court, and a jury composed of six Europeans and
seven natives of high rank from the maritime pro-
vinces. The prisoners had objected to being tried
by Kandians (even chiefs), and the event justified
their foresight
the evidence against them was
strong, but the prisoners were acquitted. It is un-
derstood that the six Europeans were unanimous for
conviction, but that the seven natives (being the
majority) were of a contrary opinion, and the ver-
dict accordingly was, not guilty. No evil conse-
quences ensued from this verdict, and the people
learned from the trial what would have been at-
tempted against their new liberties. Government
removed from office those chiefs whom the evidence
had proved to be unworthy of confidence, and re-
warded those who had been instrumental in deve-
loping the plans of the conspirators.
The great changes recommended by the commis-
sioners of inquiry had been only a short time intro-
duced, when an immense improvement in the con-
dition of the people, as well as in the face of the
country, became apparent, for increased cultivation
of grain by the natives, and the formation of coffee
and other plantations by them and Europeans was
the natural consequence of destroying the monopoly
of a nation's labour. From the genial climate little
clothing is requisite in Ceylon, and abundance of
food (at the worst, fruit and yams) with fuel at
command, probably places the peasant of Ceylon in
a more enviable position than the inhabitant of any
other country. As to the higher classes (except
the old chiefs) they have lost the recollection of
barbarous power, and, whilst giving their children
an English education, are teaching them to as-
pire to those offices which confer real importance
and just influence on the possessors. The highest
rank of natives in general have mild manners and
quick abilities; and from the laudable ambition
with which they are inspired, we may expect, ere
long, that many of them will be found filling with
respectability the high official situations which so
justly and so liberally have been opened to their
Before closing this account of British rule, I
shall give my opinion of the state and prospects
of Christianity in Ceylon. This religion was intro-
duced into the northern provinces at a very early
period by Nestorian missionaries from Persia, and
was adopted by many of the inhabitants on the
north-west coast nearest to Malabar. The Portu-
guese in the beginning of the sixteenth century,
by persuasion or compulsion, made many converts,
and the principal Portuguese officers became sponsors
to the Cingalese chiefs who embraced Christianity
they at the same time adopted the surname of
their godfather, in addition to their native family
name, and thus we find amongst the Cingalese the
names of Perera, De Silva, Liveyra, and most
others which appear in the list of those Portuguese
who held the highest offices in the island, from
1518 to 1658. After that period, the Dutch
having dispossessed the Portuguese of all the ter-
ritory they held in Ceylon, attempted to supersede
the Roman Catholic religion by the Protestant,
and took an effectual way of making hypocrites
under the pretence of improving that system of
Christianity which had been already introduced.
The Dutch declared that, to enable a native to
hold office, it was necessary he should profess the
reformed faith. In consequence of this rule, those
who aspired to office apostatised, while those who
had nothing to gain by a change, remained stead-
fast in their religion.
However objectionable their mode of conver-
sion may have been, the Dutch deserve credit for
their perseverance in educating the natives in
Christianity, and in establishing a general system
of schools for their instruction. In
1796, the
British superseded the Dutch in their power over
the maritime provinces of the island, but under the
Government of Madras which continued for two
the catechists and schoolmasters no longer
received their salaries
the duties of public
worship, and the education of the youth began
to be feebly discharged or entirely neglected,"*
When the island ceased to be under the Ho-
nourable East India Company, and Governor
North arrived in
1798, he re-established and re-
modelled the places of education, and in 1801,
there were one hundred and seventy schools,
and "the number of native Protestant Christians
exceeded three hundred and forty-two thousand.
The Christians professing the religion of the
church of Rome, are supposed to be still more
Early in the year 1803, instructions in His
Majesty's name were received at Colombo, direct-
ing that the expense of all the schools in the island
should be limited to the amount of fifteen hundred
pounds per annum."f In the report of the com-
missioners of inquiry, December, 1831, I find that
the Governi'fient schools have continued to be
maintained by the British Government, but they
are extremely defective and ineflScient
" and again,
as the control exercised is insufficient to secure
Cordiner's Ceylon. .
the attendance either of the masters or of the scho-
lars, many abuses prevail, and the Government
schools, in several instances, exist only in name."
The wretched parsimony of the British home Go-
vernment, in reducing the funds necessary and pre-
viously given for education, at the same time that
so many situations for Europeans were invented,
and such lavish expenditure in salaries was sanc-
tioned, apparently admits of no justification. Much,
however, has been done by the exertions of mis-
sionaries in propagating true Christianity, and in
educating the natives.
After the report of the commission of inquiry,
and the arrival of Sir R. W. Horton, as Governor,
the subject of education attracted more attention,
and arrangements were made for having the Eng-
lish language generally taught. If this is zeal-
ously persevered in, I should be inclined to adopt
the language of Cordiner, who, writing in
regarding the introduction of Christianity, says,
"There is no doubt that if ever the Government
of England pay attention to this subject, the reli-
gion of Christ will become as clearly understood,
as well practised, in Ceylon, as in any part of
the King's dominions."
In Ceylon, the face of the country rapidly im-
proving, trade increasing, diminished taxation, an
increasing revenue, with a happy and contented
people, are undeniable evidences to prove that the
radical changes made in this colony are correct
in theory, and have been carried into effect
honestly and ably, by the executive of Ceylon,
under the Government of Sir Robert Wilmot
They were of most ancient time
Of primeval age and clime.

the Native Annals
B.C. 543, to a.d.

Ancient Cingalese Courts.


by Ordeal,


Extraordinary Murder,

The Phodias,

Complaint against a Phodia.

Kandian Form
Cingalese Kings,

Comparative length
their Peigns at

violent Deaths.

Female Sovereigns : Anoola



Donna Catherina,

a Cingalese
Monarch List
tlw Kings
543 b.c, to
A.D. 1815.
As this narrative of travels is intended to illus-
trate the history and antiquities, as well as the
scenery and field sports of Ceylon, it would be im-
perfectly understood without some knowledge of
the native history, as well as of British dominion
in the Island
I have, therefore, prefixed this
sketch of the ancient institutions of the country,
and the
succession of its Kings.
F 2
The possession of the Kandiaii country has en-
abled us to prove the truth of Cingalese history, so
long despised by Europeans, by examining remains
of antiquity, and inscriptions which, situated in
forests, covered with vegetation, and sunk in ob-
scurity, have been lately recalled from oblivion to
bear witness to the authenticity of the native re-
cords, and to the minute accuracy with which Cin-
galese historians detailed the particulars of the
building of religious edifices, and the embellish-
ment of their ancient capitals. To the historical
being blended with the religious in the native
annals, in so far as relates to the erection and
endowment of religious edifices, and the gifts be-
stowed to the Buddhist priesthood, we probably
owe the complete preservation of the Cingalese
chronicles through so many ages, and in despite
of repeated attempts at their destruction.*
At whatever time we find that the religion of
the island was prosperous, then the history is
distinct ; and when Buddhism wanes, we have to
grope our way through doubtful and meagre details
of historical events. Miracles and prophecies are
to be found in every ancient history ;

in that
of Ceylon they are not more numerous than in
the early chronicles of other countries, and fewer
Magha, a foreign invader, who ruled from a.d. 1214 to
1235, and Raja Singha, the apostate, who reigned from a.d.
1581 to 1592, are particularly mentioned as attempting to de-
stroy the ancient records.
than might have been expected, if we consider the
allegorical style of Eastern writing, and how ge-
nerally inventions have been set up to cast a shade
which might prevent any other than the privileged
eyes of priesthood from seeing too minutely into
history and religion. Cingalese historians seem in
some degree to have associated the ideas of cor-
poreal size with mental superiority, and political
power with numbers; yet they may only mean
multitudes, when they express laksha (a hundred
thousand), as yodhya, usually translated giant, is a
word applicable to great power of mind, as well
as to uncommon stature, and, consequently, is used
for an eminent man, whether sage or warrior.* If
the events be compared, and Buddhist miracles are
excluded from Cingalese history, we shall find re-
cords of accurate detail and great antiquity com-
mencing with Vijeya and the invasion of the
Singha race, B.C. 543, and terminating in a.d.
with Wikreme Singha, the last and worst of a
faded dynasty and fallen nation.
When we compare the remains of the many
extensive and permanent works of the earlier in-
habitants, with those, few in number and frail in
construction, which later generations in Ceylon
have reared, I am tempted to suggest, as one
I have examined a royal grants not a hundred years old, in
which the grantee is termed yodhya, and his services are stated
to have been forming a tank, and checking smallpox by the
power of charms.
cause of their inferiority, that from the time when
Buddhism declined in India, and its most valued
relic, the Dalada, found refuge in Ceylon, a.d.
there appears to have been a decay of all friendly
communication and general intercourse between the
island and the continent. From that time, the
Cingalese, having nothing to excite them to emu-
lation, no foreign example to stimulate their ener-
gies, and prevented by caste from improvement,*
slowly and gradually declined in the arts
yet, care-
fully preserving hereditary prejudices, and inherit-
ing the pride, without the power, of their ancestors,
they became distinguished by presumptuous vanity
and contented ignorance of everything beyond the
limits of their country.
Ceylon, previous to the invasion of the Singha
race, appears to have been divided into separate
principalities ; but the nature of its institutions in
that early period cannot now be traced. If the
inhabitants then, like the Veddahs now, were ex-
empt from caste, it was imposed upon them by
their conqueror Vijeya, and was subsequently con-
firmed by the policy of succeeding Kings, and the
prejudices of those classes who accompanied Me-
hindoo to Ceylon, B.C. 307. In a Cingalese work,
there is a fanciful account of the descent of Vijeya
from Sammata Raja, King of India, a person of th
Caste, although contrary to the tenets of Gautama Buddha,
was always maintained by the policy of Cingalese Kings, and
the pride of the liighcr classes.
solar race, described as being the first mortal who
was elected and acknowledged as a chief by those
who peopled the earth immediately after the fall.
The powers voluntarily conferred upon Sammata
Raja, are declared to have been unlimited
from the wealth of his subjects, his necessities were
to be supplied. The Kings of Ceylon, according to
the example of their supposed ancestor, claimed
the same prerogative, and appear to have admitted
the necessity of election, previous to their inau-
even the last King of Kandy went
through the farce of receiving a confirmation of
his right to the throne from the voices of the
In the constitution of Kandian society, the Gam-
sabae and Ratta-sabae (the village and district
councils) afford specimens of free institutions, which
one could not expect to find surviving through so
long a period of arbitrary rule. The village council
composed of the head of every family residing
within its limits, however low his rank, or small
his property : from this tribunal, there was an ap-
peal to the district council, which consisted of in-
delegates from each village in the Pattoo
or subdivision of a district. Village councils were
indispensable, in a country where landed property
is so minutely divided, and consanguinity so en-
tangled as in Ceylon
but in 1828, district councils
only lingered in the remote province of Nuwara-
kalawia, and even there, were seldom used. Equal
division of property amongst the children, and plu-
rality of husbands amongst the women, besides
other causes, offer sufficient reasons for intricacy
in the settlement of inheritance. Trial by ordeal,
dipping the hands in boiling oil, or heated cow-
also, oaths in a temple, or under a bo-tree,
were in use for deciding cases prior to 1815; but
when the British agents were appointed to admin-
ister justice, these forms of chance judgment were
no longer permitted.
The Cingalese consider their ancient royal racp,
called Sakya, Ikshwaku, Okaka, and Suraya-wanzae,*
to be of the highest caste
buf as none, even of the
chiefs, are of the Brahman caste, they are at no
trouble to decide on the relative precedence of the
race of the sun," with the sacerdotal race of
Brahmans, but acknowledge both to be superior
to any of the families now existing in Ceylon. In
the Kandian country, there were none of the Cin-
galese inhabitants who lived exclusively by mer-
cantile pursuits ; and the highest caste is that of
the cultivators, called Goya-wanzae, the same as
is known in the maritime provinces by the appella-
tion of Wellale
to this belong the chiefs and prin-
cipal families, and with these were ranked the
Christians. The labourers and tradesmen, alotted
to particular services and trades, formed the other
caste, called Kshudra-wanzae ; and in it, not only
each service or trade was separated from another,
Suraya, sun
; Wanzaei race, or lineage.
but was also subdivided into branches, the families
of which did not intermarry. A Kandian of the
Seven Korles having discovered that an intimacy-
subsisted between his daughter and a person of
somewhat inferior rank, put her to death, and
placed her body on a sort of temporary stage, such
as is used for making offerings to the devils. Ac-
cording to an ancient superstition, he believed this
horrid act rendered pure and unimpeachable the
honour of his family, which had been sullied by the
misconduct of one of its members. When appre-
hended by order of the British authorities, the infa-
tuated father avowed the deed, and suffered as a
murderer. A very few such cases have caused
an erroneous impression on many persons, not in-
timately acquainted with the Cingalese
that they are naturally a cruel people.
the death of the man was perhaps a necessary
example for murder committed under the
of a mistaken zeal for family honour, yet it cannot
fail to strike one as in strange contrast to the
tice with regard to Britons in their own affairs
they are called) of honour, when, if not enforced
spite of the law, certain classes are at least
couraged to stake their own or take another's life,
and that on points certainly of less
to them, than the degradation of a whole familv
their posterity.
The particulars regarding the
castes, and
classification, however much condensed,
tiresome to a general reader, and to those who
take an interest in the subject, an abridgment
would be of little value;* I shall, therefore, pass
to the outcast Rhodias who have inherited the
dreadful punishment to which their remote ances-
tors, either for sins or misfortunes, had been con-
demned. These punishments, after enduring for
upwards of two thousand years, and intended to be
perpetual in the posterity of the original victims,
are now at an end, as well as the dynasty which
established and continued these atrocious cruel-
ties. There are several fabulous accounts of the
institution of these outcasts : one generally believed
by natives, is, that this race were originally the
hunters and purveyors of game for the royal table,
and that on a certain occasion, having failed to
procure game, they substituted the flesh of a child.
Another account is, that continuing to eat beef
after it was prohibited, was the cause of the dis-
grace and sufferings of the Rhodias ; but treason
and sacrilege, if not the original crimes for which
they were condemned, are certainly those which
in later times have continued or increased the
numbers of the outcasts. About the middle of
the eighteenth century, the sacrilegious act of one
was made the excuse for degrading a whole family
of rank to the situation and community of Rho-
dias. This punishment, considered worse than
A correct account of them has aheady been
given in Dr.
Davy's Travels in Ceylon.
death, was only adjudged to those of the highest
rank, who it might be supposed would feel the
full extent of a punishment intended to be inter-
minable to the race of those condemned. Rhodias
were not allowed to build a house, but were forced
to live in sheds without any wall, and open at one
side, they could not possess or cultivate lands,

they were prohibited from approaching a temple,

their touch was contamination, and they might be

killed with impunity. Two Rhodias, who were
hanged for murder at Kandy, in 1834, repeated
some Pali hymns immediately before their execu-
tion, which shows that this unfortunate race had
cherished the Buddhist religion, although abandoned
by its teachers, and excluded from its temples.*
When the crops of a village had been reaped,
and cleaned in the threshing-floors of the field, the
Rhodias generally received a small portion of paddy
as a gift from each of the cultivators; the alms
thus given with the semblance of charity, was in-
tended by the donor as an insurance against aggres-
sion on his property, or injury to his family from
the practice of hunaim (witchcraft) by the out-
and the most liberal of the villagers was
likely to have fewest sudden deaths amongst his
Dr. Davy mentions a solitary instance of which he had
heard, of a Buddhist priest preaching to the Rhodias, for which,
having incurred the royal displeasure, and on being rebuked
by the King, the teacher replied,
Religion should be common
to all."
cattle, which fed in the forests where the Rho-
dia cupaya (hamlet) was established. On one oc-
casion, a Rhodia, irritated at the small quantity
of paddy bestowed on him by a proprietor, took up
the stinted allowance, and, advancing to the thresh-
ing-floor, deliberately sprinkled the handful over
the large grain-heap of the churl, whose property
was thus rendered useless. A complaint having
been made to a British authority, the cultivator
was told in what manner he might obtain redress,
but any form of legal proceeding seemed to him
derogatory to his dignity when a Rhodia was his
adversary. Finding that his offer "to shoot the
outcast" was rejected, and being moreover informed
that such an act would certainly bring him to the
gallows, the cultivator walked oif, apparently re-
signed to the loss of his rice, and no doubt wonder-
ing at the value which a foreign nation ignorantly
placed on the life of a Rhodia.
Under the native dynasty the Kandian gaoler
appointed some low-caste person, generally a char-
coal-burner, to communicate orders to the Rhodias,
for the Government which sanctioned their per-
secution was mean enough to profit by the labour
of people whom it would not protect, and com-
pelled them to furnish ropes of hides for the pur-
pose of catching elephants. They were fortune-
tellers; and this circumstance, conjoined with the
good looks of their women and the activity of the
men, who made ropes, whips, and other useful arti-
cles, was the cause of Rliodias being less oppressed
than was intended by the cruel lawgiver who esta-
blished their position beyond the pale of society.
The authorities under the Kandian dynasty were
thus arranged :


The King,

then the Adikars or mi-

nisters of state, having general authority and
superintendance over the chiefs and people. Some
Kings had only one Adikar, the usual number
was two, and the last King of Kandy,not that
he followed their advice, but from jealousy of their
power, and doubt of their fidelity,increased the
number, and had three Adikars; after these mi-
nisters came

The Dessauves, chiefs of large districts; the

Rate Mahatmeas, chiefs of inferior districts ; Bas-
naike Nilames, chiefs of Temples ; officers of the
Under all these were innumerable subordinates,
whose powers w^ere again subdivided, so that every
separate class in each village had several persons
exercising authority, and greedy for plunder. The
King alone could order a capital punishment, and
all cases might, if the appellant had sufficient in-
fluence, be reheard at the Maha Wasala, (" the
great gate,") before the King in person. Latterly,
the Kandian Government was a despotism, dele-
gated and exercised through a multitude of tyrants
from the King to the charcoal-burner, who com-
municated across a stream with the Gasmadoo, as
the influential man in a Rhodia hamlet was usually
termed. The people, particularly those in remote
districts, suffered severely from the rapacious exac-
tions of those in office, and appeals against in-
justice, had to toil up these numerous steps of
office, down which the penal powers of the exe-
cutive descended with accumulating severity. Yet
a short road to justice was frequently found by
clamorous and persevering appeals to the King
in person, particularly if they were directed against
rich subjects, or influential chiefs, who were al-
ways objects of jealousy and pillage.
A Kandian Monarch preserved before strangers
a semblance of authority and wealth, far greater
than what he really possessed, by general seclusion
and occasional pompous display, while his own sub-
jects were imposed upon by the high-sounding
titles which he assumed, and by a respect shown to
him as if he were a god. To the principal chiefs
he delivered his orders in a style calculated to
show their immeasurable inferiority, and while re-
ceiving his commands they remained in the most
humiliating positions. The King did not permit
any person to have a house two stories high, nor
to build one with windows, nor even to roof with
tiles, nor whitewash mud walls, without obtaining
the royal sanction ; by such arts the mean build-
ings of the royal residence at Kandy remained in
the eyes of natives the most splendid palace in
the world ; their King was considered as the
greatest monarch, and, mistake greater than any,
they fancied
themselves the bravest and most
powerful of nations.
Ambassadors to the Kan-
dian court were' lodged at some distance from
the town, and the receptions were publicly held
at night, when the mean appearance of the Kan-
dian houses was less visible, and whatever of
wealth or power the King could command was
displayed to advantage by torch-light. The part
of the audience-hall
where the ambassadors were
placed was secretly heated, previous to their re-
ception, by means of glowing charcoal placed
in cocoa-nut shells, that the natives might see
how poor foreigners were influenced and over-
come by the awful presence of Kandian Majesty.
In the Cingalese chronicles, the notice of many
of the sovereigns is brief, merely stating the dura-
tion of their reign, and whether their deaths were
caused by violence ; of some pious King you may
find it recorded that he departed to the region of
the gods, i. e. died;while an impious or unjust
sovereign on departing this life is declared to have
gone to the lowest hell. With the rulers of Cey-
lon, as with the Kings of most other eastern na-
tions, despotism was the form of government, and
passion the guide of conduct ; those amongst them
who have performed their duties with diligence,
distinguished themselves by courage, increased the
prosperity of the country by useful works, or its'
fame and sanctity by religious monuments, have
been lauded by devout historians, and are placed
on an equality with a few royal fanatics, who, re-
versing the customs of their race and country, have
obtained distinction by public penance and apparent
humility. Of the
remainder, there was probably
nothing that deserved to be recorded ; they
a more splendid trough and wider sty" than their
subjects, and from this circumstance their names
are saved from oblivion in the chronicles of Cin-
galese Kings.
I have already mentioned that the throne of
Ceylon was not hereditary, and this will be suffi-
ciently apparent on reviewing the succession of one
hundred and fifty-nine Cingalese Kings from 307
B.C. until A.D. 1815.* In that period thirty-nine
eldest sons, or nearly one-fourth, succeeded to their
fathers : but twenty-nine, or more than one-fifth,
were succeeded by brothers. Also, several Kings
are mentioned as having appointed their successors,
and two childless widows are found amongst the
list of Sovereigns. In theory the Cingalese mo-
narchy was elective in the descendants of the
solar race ; in practice it was either hereditary, or
became the prize of the strongest of those who
claimed to be of royal lineage.
I have not in this summary of facts extracted from Cinga-
lese history, taken into consideration the reign of six kings
with whom the epitome commences, because in the native
records previous to b. c. 307, there are discrepancies, both as
regards the number of sovereigns and the length of their
In the same number of Kings, viz.
159, we

15 reigned for a period less than . 1 year.

30 for a period more than 1 and less than 5
31 more than
5, less than . . 10
1 reigned . . . . . 55


In the chronological portion of the Epitome
the History of Ceylon some trifling errors
committed, occasioned partly by the haste in which
that contribution for the Almanac of
1833 was
compiled, and in part by inaccuracies of the press.
As none of these errata can now be rectified
out deranging, to the extent of each error, all the
subsequent dates, this Revised list has been pre-
The following are the dates at which the ana-
chronisms, unavoidably created from the form in
which the native
histories have been compiled,
admit of correction.

B.C. 343. The landing of Wejaya, in the year of Budha's
B.C. 307. Bud. 236. The arrival of the mission sent by
Dharmaasooka, Emperor of Dambadiva, to establish Bud-
hism in Ceylon, in the first year of Dewenipeatissa's
B.C. 104. Bud. 439th year, 9th month, 10th day. The depo-
sition of Walagambahoo in the fifth month of his reign, and
the conquest of Ceylon by the Malabars.
B.C. 90. Bud. 453. 10. 10. This is the date at which, accord-
ing to the Mahawanse, Walagambahoo, on his restoration,
founded Abbayaagiri, being in the 217th year, 10th month,
and 10th day after Budhism was orally promulgated by the
mission sent by Dharmaasooka. But, according to Singha-
lese authority, it is the date at which the doctrines of Bud-
hism were first reduced to writing in Ceylon, while Wala-
gambahoo was still a disguised fugitive. In the former case,
there would be an anachronism of at least two years at the
restoration of this sovereign,
which, however, in this un-
certainty as to the event to which the date is applicable,
have not attempted to rectify.
A.D. 209. Bud. 752. 4. 10. The date of the origin of the
Wytooliya heresy, which occurred in the first year of the
reign of Waiwahara Tissa. The anachronism up to this
period is consequently six years, and the error is adjusted
A.D. 252. Bud. 795. The date of a revival of the Wytooliya
heresy, in the fourth year of the reign of Goloo Abhaa. At
the accession of this sovereign^ so recently after the fore-
going adjustment, there is no anachronism.
A.D. 275. Bud. 818. Accession of Mahasen

four years
A.D. 301. Bud. 844. 9. 20. Death of Mahasen

ism four years
A.D. 545. Bud 1088. The date of another revival of the
Wytooliya heresy^ in the twelfth year of the reign of Am-
bahaira Sala Maiwan anachronism one year, six months

A.D. 838. Bud. 1381. The date of the origin of the Wijra-
waadiya heresy, in the reign of Mitwella Sen, but the year
of the reign is not given. Supposing it to have originated
even in the year of his accession, the anachronism would
amount to four years

adjusted to that extent.

1153. Bud. 1696. The accession of Praakramabahoo 1st.
error six years

1200. Bud. 1743. The accession of Sahasa Mallawa,
which is corroborated by the inscription on the Dambulla
1266. Bud. 1809. The accession of Panditta Praakrama
Bahoo 3rd.

error seven years

1347. Bud. 1890. The accession of Bhuwaneka Bahoo

As the term of the reign of the three immediately

preceding sovereigns is not given, the extent of the ana-
chronism at this date cannot be ascertained.
In the remaining portion of the History of Cey-
lon, there is no want of dates for the adjustment
of its chronology, which, however, it would be su-
perfluous to notice here." George Turnour.
Kandy, llth December 1833.
The names of places printed within brackets signify the seat of Govern-
ment. The names printed in italics are those of subordinate or contemporary
Princes. The dates denote the period of accession of the Kings.
1. Wejaya. [Tamananowera.] B.C. 543. Bud. 1. Reigned
38 years. The founder of the Wejayan dynasty.
2. Oopatissa 1st. [Oopatissanowera.] B.C. 505. Bud. 38.
Reigned 1 year. Minister
3. Panduwaasa. [Oopatissanowera.] B.C. 504. Bud.
Reigned 30 years. Paternal nephew of Wejaya.
G 2
3. Raama, \_Iiaamagoona,']
Roohoona. \_RooJioona.']
Diggaina. [Diggaamadulla.'] \ Brothers-iri'law
Oorawellu [^Mahawelligama.']
Anooraadha, \_Anooraadhapoora.'\
4. Abhaya. [Oopatissanowera.] B.C. 474. Bud. 69.
Reigned 20 years. Son of Panduwaasa, dethroned.
Interregnum. B.C. 454. Bud. 89. Seventeen years.
5. Pandukaabhaya. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 437. Bud.
106. Reigned 70 years. Maternal grandson of Pan-
6. Mootaseewa. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 367. Bud. 176.
Reigned 60 years. Paternal grandson of Panduwaasa.
7. Devenipeatissa. [Anooradhaapoora.] B.C. 307. Bud.
236. Reigned 40 years. Second son.
Mahanaaga. \_Maxiga7na.'] Brother.
Yataalatissa. [Kellania.^ Son.
Gotaahhhaya, \_Maagama.~\ Son.
Kellani-tissa, \_Kellania.~\ Relationship not
Kaawan-tissa. \_Maagama.'] Son
8. Oottiya. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 267. Bud. 276.
Reigned 10 years. Fourth son of Mootaseewa.
9. Maha-seewa. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 257. Bud. 286.
Reigned 10 years. Fifth son of Mootaseewa.
10. Suratissa. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 247. Bud. 296.
Reigned 10 years. Sixth son of Mootaseewa

put to
11. Sena and Goottika. [Anooraadhapoora.]
B.C. 237.
Bud. 306. Reigned 22 years. Foreign usurpers

put to
12. Asela. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 215. Bud. 328. Reigned
10 years. Ninth son of Mootaseewadeposed.
13. Elaala. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 205. Bud. 338. Reigned
44 years. Foreign usurperkilled in battle.
14. Dootoogaimoonoo.
[Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 161. Bud.
382. Reigned 24 years. Son of Kaawantissa.
15. Saidaitissa. [Anooraadhapoora,] B.C. 137. Bud. 406.
Reigned 18 years. Brother.
16. Toohl, or Thullathanaka. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 119.
Bud. 424. Reigned 1 month and 10 days. Younger
17. Laiminitissa 1st, or Lajjetissa. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C.
119. Bud. 424. Reigned 9 years and 8 months. Elder
18. Kaloonna, or Khallaata-naaga. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C.
109. Bud. 434. Reigned 6 years. Brother

put to death.
19. Walagambahoo 1st, or Wattagaamini. [Anooraadhapoora.]
B.C. 104. Bud. 439. Reigned 3 months. Brother-
Paluhatta. [^Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 103. \
Bud. 440. Reigned 3 years. \ Total 14
Baayiha. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 100. I years and 7
Bud. 443. Reigned 2 years. I monthsFo-
, Panaymaaraa. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. I reign usurp-
98, Bud. 445. Reigned 7 years.
Peliyamaaraa. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. I cessivelyde-
91. Bud. 432. Reigned 7 months.
posed and
Daathiya. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 90. I put to death.
Bud. 433. Reigned 2 years.
21. Walagambahoo 1st. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 88. Bud.
455. Reigned 12 years and 5 months. Reconquered
the kingdom.
22. Mahadailitissa, or Mahachoola. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C.
76. Bud. 467. Reigned 14 years. Son.
23. Choora Naaga. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 62. Bud.
481. Reigned 12 years. Son

put to death.
24. Kooda Tissa. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 30. Bud. 493.
Reigned 3 years. Son

poisoned by his wife.

23. Anoola. [Anooraadhapoora.] B.C. 47. Bud. 496. Reigned
3 years and 4 months. Widow.
26. Makalantissa, or Kallakanni Tessa. [Anooraadhapoora.]
B.C. 41. Bud. 302. Reigned 22 years. Second son of
27. Baatiyatissa 1st, or Baatikaabhaya. [Anooraadhapoora.]
B.C. 19. Bud. 324. Reigned 28 years. Son.
28. Maha Dailiya Maana or Daathika. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 9. Bud. 552. Reigned 12 years. Brother.
29. Addagaimoono, or Aamanda Gaamini. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 2L Bud. 564. Reigned 9 years and 8 months.

put to death.
30. Kinihirridaila or Kanijaani Tissa. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 30. Bud. 573. Reigned 3 years. Brother.
3L Kooda Abhaa or Choolaabhaya. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
33. Bud. 576. Reigned 1 year. Son.
^2. Singhawallee or Seewalli. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 34.

Bud. 577. Reigned 4 months. Sister

put to death.
Interregnum. A.D. 35. Bud. 578. 3 years.
33. Elloona or Ila Naaga. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 38.
Bud. 581. Reigned 6 years. Maternal nephew of Adda-
34. Sanda Moohoona, or Chanda Mukha Seewa. [Anooraadha-
poora. A.D. 44. Bud. 587. Reigned 8 years and
months. Son.
35. Yasa Siloo, or Yataalakatissa. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
52. Bud. 595. Reigned 7 years and 8 months. Bro-

put to death.
36. Subha. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 60. Bud. 603. Reigned
6 years. Usurper

put to death.
37. Wahapp, or Wasahba. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 66.
Bud. 609. Reigned 44 years. Descendant of Laimini-
38. Waknais, or Wanka Naasika. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
110. Bud. 653. Reigned 3 years. Son.
39. Gajaabahoo 1st, or Gaaminee. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
113. Bud. 656. Reigned 12 years. Son.
40. Mahaloomaana, or Mallaka Naaga. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 125. Bud. 668. Reigned 6 years. Maternal
41. Baatiya Tissa 2d, or Bhaatika Tissa. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 131. Bud. 674. Reigned 24 years. Son.
42. Choola Tissa, or Kanitthatissa. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
155. Bud. 698. Reigned 18 years. Brother.
43. Koohoona, or Choodda Naaga. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
173. Bud. 716. Reigned 10 years. Sonmurdered.
44. Koodanaama, or Kooda Naaga. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
183. Bud. 726. Reigned 1 year. Nephewdeposed.
45. Kooda SIrinaa or Siri Naaga 1st. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 184. Bud. 727. Reigned 19 j^ears. Brother-in-
46. Waiwahairatissa, or Wairatissa. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
209. Bud. 752. Reigned 22 years. Sonmurdered.
47. Abha Sen, or Abha Tissa. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
231. Bud. 774. Reigned 8 years. Brother.
48. Siri Naaga 2d. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 239. Bud.
782. Reigned 2 years. Son.
49. Weja Indoo, or Wejaya 2d. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 241.
Bud. 784. Reigned 1 year. Son

put to death.
50. Sangatissa 1st. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 242. Bud.
785. Reigned 4 years. Descendant of Laiminitissa
51. Dahama Sirisanga Bo, or Sirisanga Bodhi 1st. [Anooraad-
hapoora.] A.D. 246. Bud. 789. Reigned 2 years. De-
scendant of Laiminitissadeposed.
52. Goloo Abhaa, Gothaabhaya, or Meghawarna Abhaya.
[Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 248. Bud. 791. Reigned
13 years. Descendant of Laiminitissa.
53. Makalan Detoo Tissa 1st. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
261. Bud. 804. Reigned 10 years. Son.
54. Maha Sen. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 275. Bud. 818.
Reigned 27 years. Brother.
55. Kitsiri Maiwan 1st, or Keertissree Megha-warna. A.D.
302. Bud. 845. Reigned 28 years. Son.
56. Detoo Tissa 2d. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 330. Bud.
873. Reigned 9 years. Brother.
57. Bujas or Budha Daasa. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 339.
Bud. 882. Reigned 29 years. Son.
58. Oopotissa2d. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 368. Bud. 911.
Reigned 42 years. Son.
59. Maha Naama. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 410. Bud.
953. Reigned 22 years. Brother.
60. Senghot, or Sotthi Sena. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 432,
Bud. 975. Reigned 1 day. Son

61. Laimini Tisso 2d, or Chatagaahaka. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 432. Bud. 975. Reigned 1 year. Descendant of
62. Mitta Sena, or Karalsora. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
433. Bud. 976. Reigned 1 year. Relationship not

put to death.
Paandu. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 434.
Bud. 977. Reigned 5 years.
Paarinda Kooda. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 439. Bud. 982. Reigned 16 i
t I 24
Khudda Paarinda. [Anooraadhapoora.] (
A.D. 455. Bud. 998. Reigned
months. V

Daatthiya. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 1
455. Bud. 998. Reigned 3 years.
Pitthiya. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 458.
Bud. 100], Reigned 7 months.
64. Daasenkelleya, or Dhaatu Sena. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
459. Bud. 1002. Reigned 18 years. Descendant of
the original royal family

put to death.
65. Seegiri Kasoomboo, or Kaasyapa 1st. [Seegiri Galla No-
wera.] A.D. 477. Bud. 1020. Reigned 18 years. Son
committed suicide.
66. Moogallaana 1st. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 495. Bud.
1038. Reigned 18 years. Brother.
67. Koomaara Daas, or Koomaara Dhaatu Sena. [Anooraad-
hapoora.] A.D. 513. Bud. 1056, Reigned 9 years.
Sonimmolated himself.
68. Kirti Sena. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 522. Bud. 1065.
Reigned 9 years. Sonmurdered.
69. Maidee Seewoo, or Seewaka. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
531. Bud. 1074. Reigned 25 days. Maternal uncle-
70. Laimini Oopatissa 3d. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 531.
Bud. 1074, Reigned 1 year and 6 months. Brother-in-
71. Ambaherra Salamaiwan, or Silaakaala. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 534. Bud. 1077. Reigned 13 years. Son-in-law.
72. Daapuloo 1st, or Daatthaapa Bhodhi. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 547. Bud. 1090. Reigned 6 months and 6 days.
Second Soncommitted suicide.
73. Dalaraagalan, or Moogallaana 2d. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 347. Bud. 1090. Reigned 20 years. Elder
74. Kuda Kitsiri Maiwan 1st, or Keertisree Megha-warna.
[Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 567. Bud. 1110. Reigned
19 years. Son

put to death.
75. Senewee or Maha Naaga. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 586.
Bud. 1129. Reigned 3 years. Descendant of the Okaa-
ka branch.
76. Aggrabodhi 1st, or Akbo. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 589.
Bud. 1132. Reigned 34 years and 2 months. Maternal
77. Aggrabodhi 2d, or Soola Akbo. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
623. Bud. 1166. Reigned 10 years. Son-in-law.
78. Sanghatissa. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 633. Bud. 1176.
Reigned 2 months. Brotherdecapitated.
79. Boona Moogalan, or Laimini Bonaaya. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 633. Bud. 1176. Reigned 6 years. Usurper-
put to death.
80. Abhaseggaaheka^ or Asiggaaheka. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 639. Bud. 1182. Reigned 9 years. Maternal
81. Siri Sangabo 2d. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 648. Bud.
1191. Reigned 6 months. Sondeposed.
82. Kaloona Detootissa, or Laimina Katooreya. [Dewoonoo-
weara, or Dondera.] A.D. 648. Bud. 1191. Reigned
5 months. Descendant of Laiminitissa committed

Siri Sangabo 2d. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 649. Bud.

1192. Reigned 16 years. Restored, and again de-
83. Daloopeatissa 1st, or Dhatthopatissa. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 665. Bud. 1208. Reigned 12 years. Laimini
branchkilled in battle.
84. Paisooloo Kasoombo, or Kaasaypa 2d. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 677. Bud. 1220. Reigned 9 years. Brother of
85. Dapuloo 2d. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 686. Bud. 1229.
Reigned 7 years. Okaaka branchdeposed.
86. Daloopeatissa 2d, or Hattha-Datthopatissa.
[ Anooraadha-
poora.] A.D. 693. Bud. 1236. Reigned 9 years. Sou
of Daloopeatissa 1st.
87. Paisooloo Siri Sanga Bo 3d, or Aggrabodhi. [Anooraad-
ha'poora.] A.D. 702. Bud. 1245. Reigned 16 years.
88. Walpitti Wasidata or Dantanaama. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 718. Bud. 1261. Reigned 2 years. Okaaka
89. Hooneonaru Riandalaor Hatthadatha. [Anooraadha-
poora.] A.D. 720. Bud. 1263. Reigned 6 months.
Original royal familydecapitated.
90. Mahalaipaanoo, or Maanawamma. [Anooraadhapoora.]
A.D. 720. Bud. 1263. Reigned 6 years. Original royal
91. Kaasiyappa 3d, or Kasoombo. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D.
726. Bud. 1269. Reigned 3 years. Son.
92. Aggrabodhi 3d, or Akbo. [Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 729.
Bud. 1272. Reigned 40 years. Nephew,
93. Aggrabodhi 4th, or Kuda Akbo. [PoUonnaroowa.] A.D.
769. Bud. 1312. Reigned 6 years. Son.
94. Mihindoo 1st, or Salamaiwan. [PoUonnaroowa.] A.D.
773. Bud. 1318. Reigned 20 years. Original royal
95. Dapoola 2d. [PoUonnaroowa.] A.D. 795. Bud. 1338.
Reigned 5 years. Son.
96. Mihindo 2d, or Dharmika-Seelaamaiga. [PoUonnaroowa.]
A.D. 800. Bud 1343. Reigned 4 years. Son.
97. Aggrabodhi 5th, or Akbo. [PoUonnaroowa.] A.D. 804.
Bud. 1347. Reigned 11 years. Brother.
98. Dappoola 3d, or Kuda Dappoola. [PoUonnaroowa.] A.D.
815. Bud. 1358. Reigned 16 years. Son.
99. Aggrabodhi 6th. [PoUonnaroowa.] A.D. 831. Bud.
1374. Reigned 3 years. Cousin.
100. Mitwella Sen, or Selaamaiga. [PoUonnaroowa.] A.D.
838. Bud. 1381. Reigned 20 years. Son.
101. Kaasiyappa 4th, or Maaganyin Sena, or Mihindoo. [Pol-
lonnaroowa.] A.D. 858. Bud. 1401. Reigned 33
years. Grandson.
102. Udaya 1st. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 891. Bud. 1434.
Reigned 35 years. Brother.
103. Udaya 2d. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 926. Bud. 4469.
Reigned 11 years. Son.
104. Kaasiyappa 5tli. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 937. Bud.
1480. Reigned 17 years. Nephew and Son-in-law.
105. Kaasiyappa 6th. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 954. Bud.
1497. Reigned 10 years. Son-in-law.
106. Dappoola 4th. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 964. Bud. 1507.
Reigned 7 months. Son.
107. Dappoola 5th. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 964. Bud. 1507.
Reigned 10 years. Relationship not specified.
108. Udaya 3d. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 974. Bud. 1517,
Reigned 3 years. Brother.
109. Sena 2d. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 977. Bud. 1520.
Reigned 9 years. Relationship not specified.
110. Udaya 4th. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 986.
Bud. 1529.
Reigned 8 years. Relationship not specified.
111. Sena 3d. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 994. Bud. 1537.
Reigned 3 years. Relationship not specified.
112. Mihindoo3d. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 997. Bud. 1540.
Reigned 16 years. Relationship not specified.
113. Sena 4th. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1013. Bud. 1556.
Reigned 10 years. Sonminor.
114. Mihindoo 4th. <[Anooraadhapoora.] A.D. 1023. Bud.
1566. Reigned 36 years. Brothercarried captive to
Indiaduring the Soleean conquest.
Interregnum [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1059. Bud. 1602.
12 years. Soleean vice-royalty.
Maha Lah
or Maha Laala Keerti, \_RoO' ^
\ o r
j- .
_, ,. r- -r:r 1 -, \
l^UOOrdinatZ 710,-
Wikrema Paandi, VKalutoUa.}
r^. ,
_, ,. T rk T ,-r, I
tive Kingsdur-
Jaqat Paxindif or Jaqati Jr'aam, [itoo-
7 cy /
_ > tng the Solee-
hoona.\ I _-.
T^ , T-. ,. T^ 7 r, 7 \
^^ Vice-roy-
Prakrama Paandi, or Prakrama Hanoo, I ,
^ _, ,
_ 1 alty.
Lokaiswera, \_Kaacharagama.']
115. Wejayabahoo 1st, or Sirisangabo 4th. [Pollonnaroowa.]
A.D. 1071. Bud. 1614. Reigned 55 years. Grandson
of Mihindoo 4th.
116. Jayabahoo 1st. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1126. Bud.
1669. Reigned 1 year. Brother.
117. Wikramabahoo 1st. [Pol-\
J / a r
J / A diS"
Maanaabarana.[^RoohoonaJ] I
A.D. 1127. Bud. L
118. Gajaabahoo 2d. [PoUon- / 1670. Reigned
-, I ir\n I
naroowa.1 \
20 years.
Siriwallaba, or Kitsiri Mai-
wan. [^Roohoona.']
119. Prakramma Bahoo 1st. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1153.
Bud. 1696. Reigned 33 years. Son of Maanaabarana.
120. Wijayabahoo 2d.
[Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1186. Bud.
1729. Reigned 1 year. Nephewmurdered.
121. Mihindo 5th, or Kitsen Kisdaas. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D.
1187. Bud. 1730.
Reigned5days. Usurper

put to death.
122. Kirti Nissanga.
[Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1187. Bud.
1730. Reigned 9 years. A prince of Kaalinga.
Weerabahoo. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1196. Bud. 1739.
Reigned 1 day. Son

put to death.
123. Wikramabahoo 2d. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1196. Bud.
1739. Reigned 3 months. Brother of Kirti Nissanga

put to death.
124. Chondakanga. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1196. Bud. 1739.
Reigned 9 months. Nephewdeposed.
125. Leelawatee. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1197. Bud. 1740.
Reigned 3 years. Widow of Prakramabahoodeposed.
126. Saahasamallawa. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1200. Bud.
1 743. Reigned 2 years. Okaaka branchdeposed.
127. Kalyaanawati. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1202. Bud.
1745. Reigned 6 years. Sister of Kirti Nissanga.
128. Dharmaasooka. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1208. Bud.
1751. Reigned 1 year. Relationship not specified
129. Nayaanga or Neekanga [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1209.
Bud. 1752. Reigned 17 days. Minister

put to death.

Leelawatee. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1209. Bud. 1752.

Reigned 1 year. Restored, and again deposed.
130. Lokaiswera 1st. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1210. Bud.
1753. Reigned 9 months. Usurperdeposed.

Leelawatee. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1211. Bud. 1754.

Reigned 7 months. Again restored and deposed a third
131. Pandi Prakrama Bahoo 2d. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D.
1211. Bud. 1754. Reigned 3 years. Usurperdeposed.
132. Maagha. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1214. Bud. 1757.
Reigned 21 years. Foreign usurper.
133. Wejayabahoo3d. [Dambadeniya.] A.D. 1235. Bud. 1778.
Reigned 24 years. Descendant of Sirisangabo 1st.
134. Kalikaala Sahitya Sargwajnya, or Paandita Prakrama Ba-
hoo 3d. [Dambadeniya.] A.D. 1266. Bud. 1809.
Reigned 35 years. Son.
135. Bosat Wejaya Bahoo 4th. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1301.
Bud. 1844. Reigned 2 years. Son.

Bhuwaneka Bahoo.
Yapahoo, or Subhapabattoo.']
136. Bhuwaneka Bahoo 1st. [ Yapahoo, or Subhapabattoo.'\
A.D. 1303. Bud. 1846. Reigned 11 years. Brother.
137. Prakrama Bahoo 3d. [Pollonnaroowa.] A.D. 1314. Bud.
1857. Reigned 5 years. Son of Bosat Wejayabahoo.
138. Bhuwaneka Bahoo 2d. [Kurunaigalla, or Hastisaila-
poora.] A.D. 1319. Bud. 1862. Duration of reign
not stated. Son of Bhuwenekabahoo.
139. Pandita Prakrama Bahoo 4th. [Kurunaigalla, or Hastisai-
lapoora. Duration of reign not stated. Relationship not
140. Wanny Bhuwaneka Bahoo 3d. [Kurunaigalla, or Hastisai-
lapoora. Duration of reign not stated. Relationship not
141. Wejaya Bahoo 5th. [Kurunaigalla, or Has-
tisailapoora.] Duration of reign not stated.
142. Bhuwaneka Bahoo 4th. [Gampola, or Gangaa-
siripoora.] A.D. 1347. Bud. 1890. Reigned
. > ship not
( s ecifi d
143. Prakrama Bahoo 5th. [Gampola, or Gangaa-
siripoora.] A.D. 1361. Bud. 1904. Reigned
10 years.
144. Wikrambahoo 3d. [Partly at Kandy or Sengadagalla No-
wera.] A.D. 1371. Bud. 1914. Reigned 7 years.
145. Bhuwaneka Bahoo 5tb. [Gampola, or Gan-
gaasiripoora.] A.D. 1378. Bud. 1921.
Reigned 20 years.
146. Wejaya Bahoo 5th, or Weera Bahoo. [Gam- f
pola, or Gangaasiripoora.] A.D. 1398. Bud.
ship not
1941. Reigned 12 years.
147. Sree Praakrama Bahoo 6th. [Kotta, or Jay-
awardanapoora.] A.D. 1410. Bud. 1953.
Reigned 52 years.
148. Jayaabahoo 2d. [Kotta or Jayawardanapoora.] A.D.
1462. Bud. 2005. Reigned 2 years. Maternal grand-
sonput to death,
149. Bhuwaneka Bahoo 6th. [Kotta, or Jayawardanapoora.]
A.D. 1464. Bud. 2007. Reigned 7 years. Relation-
ship not specified.
150. Pandita Praakrama Bahoo 7th. [Kotta, or Jayawardana-
poora.] A.D. 1471. Bud. 2114. Reigned 14 years.
Adopted son.
151. Weera Praakrama Bahoo 8th. [Kotta^ or Jayawardana-
poora.] A.D. 1485. Bud. 2028. Reigned 20 years.
Brother of Bhuwanekabahoo 6th.
152. Dharma Praakrama Bahoo 9th. [Kotta, or Jayawardana-
poora.] A.D. 1505. Bud. 2048. Reigned 22 years.
153. Wejaya Bahoo 7th. [Kotta, or Jayawardanapoora.] A.D.
1527. Bud. 2070. Reigned 7 years. Brothermur-

Jayaweera Bandara, \^Gampola.~\

154. Bhuwaneka Bahoo 7th. [Kotta.] A.D. 1534. Bud.
2077. Reigned 8 years. Son.
Maayaadunnai. [^Seetaawaka.']
Raygam Bandara. \^Iiaygam.']
Jayaweera Bandara. [^Kandy.~\
155. Don Juan
Dharmapaala. [Kotta.] A.D. 1542. Bud.
2085. Reigned 39 years. Grandson.
A Malabar.
Portuguese. [^Colombo.']
Weediye Raja. \_Pailainda Nmvera.']
155. Idirimaaney Suriya, {_Seven Korles.']
Wikrama Bahoo. \_Kandy.'] Descertdant
gabo 1st.
156. Raajasingha 1st. [Seetaawaka.] A.D. 1581. Bud. 2124.
Reigned 11 years. Son of Maayaadunnai.
Jaya Suriya, [^Seetaawaka.~\
Weediye Rajas Queen. [^Seetaawaha.']
157. Wimala Dharma. [Kandy.] A.D. 1592. Bud. 2135.
Reigned 12 years. Original royal family.
158. Senaaratena, or Senerat. [Kandy.] A.D. 1604. Bud.
2147. Reigned 31 years. Brother.
159. Raaja-singha 2nd. [Kandy.] A.D. 1635. Bud. 2178.
Reigned 50 years. Son.
Ouvah.~\ Brother,
Wijaya Paala, \_Matelle.~\ Brother,
160. Wimala Dharma Suriya 2nd. [Kandy.] A.D. 1685.
Bud. 2228. Reigned 22 years. Son of Raaja-singha.
161. Sreeweera Prakrama Narendra-singha, or Koondasaala.
[Kandy.] A.D. 1707. Bud. 2250. Reigned 32 years.
162. Sreewejaya Raaja-singha, or Hanguranketta. [Kandy.]
A.D. 1739. Bud. 2282. Reigned 8 years. Brother-
163. Kirtisree Raaja-singha. [Kandy.] A.D. 1747. Bud.
2290. Reigned 34 years. Brother-in-law.
164. Raajaadhi Raaja-singha. [Kandy.] A.D. 1781. Bud.
2324. Reigned 17 years. Brother.
165. Sree Wickrema Raaja-singha. [Kandy.] A.D. 1798.
Bud. 2341. Reigned 16 years. Son of the late King's
wife's sister, deposed by the English, and died in cap-
Dividing these one hundred and fifty-nine Sove-
reigns, and the period of two thousand one hundred
and twenty-two years over which their reigns ex-
tended, into four nearly equal parts, and taking the
proportional length of a reign in each period, we
find there was a much greater security for its longer
duration in the last five centuries than in either of
the three preceding periods of the same length of
yet it was in the earlier and more precarious
times that every work of magnitude or durability
which now exists was executed ; and this is one of
many convincing proofs, that it was by means of a
much more numerous population ; and neither from
the internal prosperity of the kingdom, nor the
power of knowledge, that the earliest Kings were
enabled to execute undertakings so much beyond
the capacity of the nation for the last five hundred
In a period of five hundred and thirty-eight years,
viz. from B.C. 307 until a.d.
231, there were forty-
one Kings, which gives an average to each reign of
rather more than thirteen years.
From A. D. 232 until a. d.
769, a period of five
hundred and thirty-eight years, there were forty-
six Kings, which gives an average to each reign
of less than twelve years.
From A.D. 770, until a.d. 1301, a period of five
hundred and thirty-two years, there were forty-two
Kings, the average duration of their reigns falling
short of thirteen years.
From A.D. 1302, until a.d. 1815, a period of fiYO
hundred and fourteen years, there were only thirty
Kings, whose reigns average upwards of seventeen
In the first period, nearly two out of every five
Kings met violent deaths; in the second period,
about one in three ; in the third period, only one
in seven
and in the fourth period, one in six, came
to death by violent means.
The violent deaths of Cingalese Kings may be
classed thus.

Twenty-two murdered by their successors.

Six murdered by individuals.
Thirteen killed in feuds and war.
Four committed suicide.
If we add to these, eleven Kings who were de-
throned, and whose after-fate is unknown, it will
appear that not more than two-thirds of those
Princes who ascended the Cingalese throne, reach-
ed the funeral pile without violence, and retained
sovereign authority at the time of their death.
An account of the lives of the female Sovereigns,
who have ruled Ceylon, may, perhaps, give the
most correct, though not a favourable, picture of the
state of society at the times in which they lived.
The first Queen, in order of time, was Anoola,
who ascended the throne after having poisoned the
King, her husband, Kuda Tissa, B.C. 48. She then
married, and raised to the throne in succession, five
ministers, all of whom she despatched by poison,
viz. Balat-Swama, after sharing her throne for
fourteen months
Wattooka, after thirteen months
the Brahman minister and household priest, Nilia,
who succeeded, was only permitted to retain the
precarious rank to which he was elevated, for six
VOL. I. H^
months : Sakkoo, was his successor in the danger-
ous dignity, and existed for eleven months, then
fell, and was followed by Ballatissa, whose life and
authority was terminated in fifteen months. Four
months longer this female fiend, setting decency
at defiance, ruled over the island, and was then put
to death by her step-son and successor, Makalan-
tissa, who had escaped from her violence, and re-
mained concealed in the garb of a priest.
The next Queen, who ruled over Ceylon, was
Singhawallee, who succeeded to the throne on the
death of her brother, a.d.
; and after a reign
of four months, fell a victim to the ambition of her
cousin Elloona, who put this Queen to death, and
reigned in her stead.
From this time, until a.d. 1197,
when Leela-
watee usurped the throne, by the assistance of her
husband, no female sovereign intervenes. She was
the widow of Prakrama Bahoo 1st, the most active
and renowned sovereign of the Sooloowanzae, or
succession of Kings, posterior to a.d. 301. For some
time after his death, Cingalese history contains little,
except a record of royal murders, for which ambition
furnished victims, blood-stained Princes, who snatch-
ed a sceptre, that in their gory hands and feeble
grasp, still pointed onwards to a bloody tomb. Of
the six Kings who followed Prakrama Bahoo, four
were murdered, one died a natural death, and the
sixth, Chondakanga, was deposed and had his eyes
put out, by order of the minister Kirti, who had
married Leelawatee, and now raised her to the
throne, while he exercised the supreme authority
under sanction of her name. These six reigns only
occupied ten years ; and three years after her ac-
cession, Leelawatee was deposed by the King Saha-
samallawa, who only enjoyed his dignity for two
years, and was then deposed by the influence of
the minister Neeckanga, who placed on the throne
the Queen Kalyanawati.
Kalyanawati, the sister of a former King, com-
menced her reign a.d. 1202, and appears, notwith-
standing the turbulence of those times, to have
died in possession of the throne which she had
occupied for six years, and left to an infant, her
successor Dharmasoka, from whom it was usurped
by the same Neeckanga who had been insti*umental
in raising Kalyanawati to sovereign power. Seven-
teen days numbered Neeckanga's short-lived dignity,
and then the usurper fell by the hand of his
minister Manoda, who restored the deposed Queen
Leelawatee. Again, for one year she enjoyed
power, and was then deposed by an usurper, Lokais-
wara, who, in his turn, was expelled by the Queen,
after a reign of nine months. Leelawatee again
reigned for seven months, and was deposed for the
third and last time by the usurper Pandi Prakrama
Bahoo 2nd, a.d. 1211.
A short account of Donna Catherina, who was
proclaimed by the Portuguese as Queen of Kandy,
in the latter part of the sixteenth century, but who
H 2
is not acknowledged as a sovereign by Cingalese
historians, will be found in the account of Nuwara
Ellia. Donna Catherina, the daughter of a deposed
King, was educated as a Catholic by the Portuguese,
who afterwards proclaimed her as Queen, and sup-
ported her cause. Her allies being defeated, and
herself left a prisoner, Donna Catherina married her
victorious rival, and, after his death, espoused his
brother and successor: finally, she died lamented
by her subjects, to whose worship and customs she
seems to have conformed, if indeed she did not
entirely abandon the religion in which she had been
I shall conclude this sketch of the native dynasty,
with the acknowledged duties of a Cingalese mon-
arch, which will show that it was in defiance of
unexceptionable rules for their guidance, that
Buddhist Kings proved cruel rulers, as I shall after-
wards have occasion to remark how slightly a
Buddhist people are restrained by their excellent
Inoral laws.
Be willingly charitable to the deserving.
Be mild of speech.
Let your conduct and actions be such as to con-
duce to the good of your people.
Let the love of your people equal the love of
Favour no one to the injury of another.
Injure no one to benefit another.
Let no fear prevent your doing justice.
Avoid doing evil through ignorance, or the want
of correct information.
Be munificent.
Strictly follow the rules of your religion.
Remunerate the deserving.
Let your conduct be upright.
Let your conduct be mild.
Be patient.
Be without malice.
Inflict not torture.
Be merciful.
Attend to good council.
These are the principal rules
by which
a Budd-
hist monarch should regulate his conduct.
These rules, as above translated, are from Dr Davy's
'Tis sweet to contemplate the fleeting shades
That o'er thy towering forests lightly creep,
When cloth'd in clouds the sun's effulgence fades
Or when his beams athwart their verdure sweep,
To view thy starry leaves, a vast expanse.
Wave in the sportive breeze their trembling hues
And as they catch each transient light, they glance
Unnumber'd colours bathed in ever-vernal dews.
Lines to Adam's Peak,
By the Honourable Wm. Granville.
the purpose
Elephant Shooting.

Kellania Ganga.

King Bhuwaneka
BaJioo Seventh.

the River,

Jungle Crow.

Pariah Dogs.


Rev. Mr. CJmyter.


Evening in the Interior



Road to Avisavelle.





Wild Elephant.




Chatty Bath.

I^st house Dinner.


Moschetto Curtains.


Driving large

Elephant Shooting.

Lieutenant H-
seized by an Elephant.
Rapid return to Colombo.

A Cor-

Elephant's Head.
My first two excursions into the interior of Cey-
lon were undertaken for the purpose of elephant
shooting soon after my arrival in the country, and
while still in ignorance of the proper manner of
pursuing elephants, or the exact place to fire at
when I should encounter them. Yet I record
my earliest essays, (unlucky and unsuccessful though
they were), because then my impressions were more
vivid, both of that most magnificent of all field
sports, and also of the unequalled richness of
Ceylon landscape. Both expeditions were made
ere experience had inured me to the presence
and habits of these huge animals, and before
my eye had become accustomed to, or sated
with, the eternal luxuriance of the evergreen fo-
rests which clothe alike the most level districts
and the steepest pinnacle of Kandian moun-
In November, 1826, on receiving information
that a number of elephants had made their appear-
ance near the banks of the Kellania Ganga, twenty-
five miles from Colombo, a party, of which I was
a member, immediately agreed to go in search of
them, and to commence our career as elephant
shots. After perfecting our arrangements, I had
not even started, when I discovered how incorrect
were the ideas I had formed of the manner of tra-
velling in Ceylon, and how much the instructions
and advice with which I had been liberally sup-
plied, required to be modified before I could pro-
ceed. We had been informed, that to reach Hang-
welle (our place of rendezvous), with comfort,
tjonvenience, and speed, it was only necessary to
engage a boat, and by embarking in the- evening we
might enjoy a good night's rest, and reach our des-
tination before morning, without losing sight of
our servants and supplies. Colonel L and
myself having determined on choosing this luxuri-
ous mode of conveyance, were a little disappointed
at finding, that as there were obstructions in the
canal, we had to walk, and our baggage to be car-
ried, four miles to the boat, which was waiting
on the Kellania Ganga.* After a delay of several
hours we fairly embarked, people, furniture, pro-
visions, wines, guns, ammunition, in short, all the
necessaries of a determined sporting party, on a
sort of platform fixed on two canoes, and over
which a cocoa-nut-leaf room was erected. The
native boatmen encouraged us by saying that, as
heavy rain had fallen in the mountains, the water
in the river was so deep that we could not find
any impediment or delay in crossing sand-banks
or shallows.
The Kellania Ganga is formed by the union of
several torrents, which have their source in the
western division of the mountainous range con-
nected with Adam's Peak. The length of its
course is seventy miles ; for the first half of this
distance it flows through a thinly inhabited forest-
covered country, and here its waters are clear, its
bed rocky, and its current precipitous; for the
Ganga River.
last thirty-five miles this river is navigable for
boats, and well adapted for the purpose of inland
communication. It runs into the sea four miles
from Colombo, and is connected with that fort by
a canal, which was completed before the British
took possession of the country, for they have done
but little, either to improve the navigation of the
river, or to connect it by roads with a promising
and healthy country lying between Colombo and
the mountains.*
I remained for some time admiring the luxuriant
vegetation and lofty trees on the river banks, and
their deep shadows over which we floated. It
was here on this river, nearly three hundred
ago, that Bhuwaneka Bahoo the Seventh, the hun-
dred and fifty-fourth King of the Singha race was
shot through the heart by a Portuguese
man who accompanied him on a party of^ pleasure.
It is distinctly mentioned that the act was unin-
tentional, and as it was for the Portuguese
that this King should have lived, we may readily
admit that his death was by accident. This mon-
arch would have been unable to support himself
on the throne without the assistance of his Euro-
pean allies, in return for which he placed himself,
and his country entirely at their disposal, and sent
I have heard that since this was written, and about the
time I left the country, several lines of road were projected,
traced, and about to be commenced, leading to this river from
various points of the interior of the country.
to 'Portugal a native ambassador* with the golden
image, of a Prince whom he had adopted and in-
tended as his successor. This Prince was chris-
tened in effigy in the royal palace of Lisbon, a. d.
1540, and received the name of Don Juan, being
called after Don Juan of Austria. He succeeded
to the throne on the death of Bhuwaneka Bahoo,
and adopted the Christian faith, but his power
never extended beyond those parts in which he
was protected by the forces of his Portuguese allies.
When I retired to sleep and to prepare for the
adventures of the next day, I soon found that this
combination of house and vessel possessed in per-
fection the bad qualities of both ; it had the scanty
accommodation which is the characteristic of every
floating conveyance, and carried such an abundance
of bugs as is rarely to be met with in the, dirtiest
hovel. Driven again to the open air, I found the
lines of cocoa-nut trees apparently as interminable
as ever, while their white stems and tufted tops
reflected on the river above, below, and all around,
seemed more stubbornly monotonous than they were
previous to my retreating under cover. Morning
at length dawned, and the perfume exhaled from
the shadock, orange, lime, and areka-nut-tree
flowers, which grew everywhere along the bank,
Salappoo Arachy. The inferior rank of Arachy which this
ambassador held, shows that either no native of rank acknow-
ledged the King supported by the Portuguese, or that none of
them could be persuaded to trust themselves into the hands of
his faithful Majesty.
became more powerful, but was still delicious. We
could now distinguish objects at a distance/ and
to our severe disappointment recognised buildings
by which we knew that in the ten hours' rowing
we had only advanced three miles, and had there-
fore the alternative of walking twelve miles, or
running the risk of being too late for the sport.
We disembarked at the first native cottage, and
while the servants were preparing coffee, the wo-
man of the house was
employed in making cakei^
from a liquid composition of rice-flower and cocoa-'
nut milk, which, being passed through small holes
in the bottom of a dish, assumed the appearance of
vermicelli ; it was then received on a wicker tray
placed over boiling water, and there being cooked
by steam, became a very palatable cake. She also
prepared from the meal of a small grain another
kind of cake, of a dark colour, which, in shape
taste, bore a considerable resemblance to an oat-
meal bannock. Having made a hearty
on these delicacies, we commenced our walk,
were repeatedly serenaded by the loud hoarse
Ouk ! ouk ! ouk!" which we found to proceed
from a bird commonly called the Jungle
which, in habits and shape, nearly resembles the
magpie : its body, head, and tail are black,
but its
wings are of a light-brown colour, and its eyes
bright red.
Having reached the rest-house of Hangwelle,
may as well describe what a rest-house in
places now is, and this one was in 1828. The
house consisted of a large roof, covered with thatch,
which reached within seven feet of the ground,
and projected so far beyond the four mud walls
that supported it, as to allow a considerable space
under the eaves, which was dignified with the name
of verandah ; two empty rooms, of moderate size,
were contained within the walls, and the floors
of these, as well as of the verandah, were plastered
with cow- dung. This coating of the floors is a
common native custom, and is practised because
fleas, and some other kind of vermin, have sufficient
taste to abstain from trespassing on this vile com-
position, until it has lost that evil savour in which
lies its virtue. From this description it may be
inferred, that these establishments afford shelter
from rain, when the roofs are in good repair, and
from wind and fogs, when the doors will shut; if
to these combined advantages are superadded an
absence of vermin, and the possession of a travel-
ling bed, then, with some confidence, the sojourner
may reckon on enjoying repose in a rest-house.
On arriving at one of them, you are immediately
attended by several carrion crows, and, as soon as
you are seated, and have composed yourself in a
comfortable attitude, one or more of these harpies,
having settled beyond your reach, and, in defiance
of all threatening gestures, commences forthwith
to screech at you, with expanded beak and drooping
wings, until to your vexed ear each succeeding
sound of their eternal khaa ! khaa ! hhaa ! appears
louder and hoarser than the preceding guttural.
Besides being a severe trial to one's patience, they
are much in the habit of levying a tax on the
supplies ; and perhaps at the very moment that
you are meditating revenge against the noisy per-
former in front, another of the gang is quietly
winging his way out at some side window with
your breakfast loaf. Their scent, or their sagacity,
is unrivalled amongst birds of their own size ; for,
halt where you will, unpack when you may, only
look up into the tree above, and you will find one
crow at least with his head on one side peering
into your provision-baskets, as if he were sent to
take an inventory. On the stranger's arrival at
a rest-house, not less certain than the clamour of
the crows is the worrying of Pariah dogs, which
assemble in numbers, and with every variety of
lank sides, lame legs, blind eyes, and blotched
these wretched animals having ascertained
the position of those packages which they covet,
next proceed to examine the physiognomy of the
traveller, and may be seen cautiously approaching
and staring in his face, apparently for the purpose
of discovering whether they may hope to be allowed
to pick up the crumbs and fragments of his feast.
A kind look is sufficient to attach one of these
and, as they hold that position in the canine,
that vagrants and vagabonds do amongst the human
castes, they have also been gifted with that sharp-
ness of wits, and facility of digestion, that enables
tliem to exist where the hound of higher descent
might starve. When more than usually pressed
by hunger, they feed on fallen jack-fruit ; and a
juvenile Pariah dog is as precocious and unscru-
pulous in providing his own supplies, as the most
thorough-bred brat of a travelling tinker. At a
later period of my residence in the island, an ac-
cident having deprived me of a watch-dog, I ac-
costed civilly a large Pariah that passed me as I
was riding
the animal showed his acknowledg-
ment by wagging his tail and following me home
and from that time he commenced attending re-
gularly at dinner : he also took upon himself the
task of barking at all strange people, and biting
all strange dogs that
approached my house ; and,
in short, from the first day, Lebuna diligently per-
formed the duties of an accomplished watch-dog.
This animal became very fat; yet, although
fed, he could not forbear
stealing from habit, as
he had formerly done from necessity, and was at
last cut down by the cleaver of a Malay butcher,
while feloniously waddling
off with a quarter of
I had honoured this outcast with a European
name, but
was unable to enforce my nomenclature ; the native servants
called him lehuna (the tolerated) ; and under that
he lived and died.
My European servants were Scotch (Aberdeenshire),
from them the natives picked up the language and accent with
wonderful facility and accuracy, so that strangers have some-
The rest-house is
within the small re-
doubt of Hangwelle;
and the only defence to a
post of so much
during the Kandian
war, appears to have been a dry ditch, which is now
choked up with
This trifling field-
work commanded the
navigation of the Kellania
Ganga, as well as the direct road from Kandy to
Colombo ; and while waiting for my servants and
baggage, I strolled out to examine the ground
where the last of Kandian
Kings, with the whole
force of his country, was
routed with disgrace by
a handful of invalid Europeans. On returning from
my walk, I was surprised to find a stranger, a com-
fortable-looking European gentleman, seated in the
verandah, enjoying the quiet scene and cool air
of the river bank : as we approached, his dress
announced him to be of the missionary profession,
and his frank manner did not leave us long in
suspense as to his name and situation. The Rev.
Mr. Chayter had been for some time in Ava, and
after suffering many hardships there, had removed
in 1812 to Colombo, and then commenced the
Baptist missionary establishment in Ceylon. This
gentleman, soon after his arrival in the island,
devoted himself to the study of the native Ian-
times been astonished at hearing Kandians calling "Hisky,

" hae Dougy, Dougy." So also carts, which I was the

first to introduce into the Matale district, are probably to this
day known there as
caerts," and the small bullocks that draw
them as "beasties."
guages, and performed a valuable service in ar-
ranging and publishing the first Cingalese and
English grammar. At the time I now speak of,
viz. 1827, he had three churches, thirteen schools,
and upwards of ^\e hundred scholars, under his
and all these institutions were
maintained at a wonderfully small expense, less
than 150/. per annum to the parent society in
England. He had many followers in the neigh-
bourhood of Hangwelle, and received great assist-
ance and support from an old gentleman, the
Modeliar, or native magistrate of this district.
Previous to meeting with Mr. Chayter, I was
little inclined to consider favourably, or estimate
highly, the success of European missionaries in the
East ; but as regards Ceylon, although I cannot
but regret the numerous and perplexing divisions
of the Christian community, yet from my first ac-
quaintance with their proceedings, until I left the
island, it is bare justice to them to record my
opinion that they have been zealous without bigotry,
and have done much, and worked judiciously, for
the introduction of real Christianity, by educating,
from early youth, young natives in the English lan-
guage and Christian religion.
At Hangwelle, I was delighted with the sharp
feeling of the evening air, so different from the
moist atmosphere of the sea-coast, on the south-west
side of the island
and not less so with the softness
of the scene, and the wondrous blaze of the fire-
flies, as the breeze shook them from the dark
foliage, and they again strove to regain the shelter
of the surrounding trees. Nothing can be imagined
more enchanting than the refreshing coolness and
beauty of the nights as you approach the mountains
in the interior of Ceylon
for, even if the sur-
passing lustre of the moon and stars be obscured
by clouds, the innumerable fire-flies (with brilliancy
only inferior to the lights of heaven) serve to realise
all those ideas which wildering fancy forms of Fairy-
The brilliancy of the fire- fly was on one occasion
the cause of an accident to a gentleman, who, on
emerging from the heat of a mess-room, imagined
a fire-fly, which started before him, to be a lantern
borne by a servant : the eccentric motions of the
insect were set down by the master as vagaries
of the domestic, until a volley of oaths, and a rush
at the refractory bearer, was cut short by a head-
long plunge into the cold lake of Kandy.
Although it was late at night when we retired,
we were again on our way before daylight the next
morning. Mr. S and Mr. H rode ; while
Colonel L and myself, who had put our faith
on erroneous advice and inland navigation, were
glad to mount ourselves on two arm-chairs, over
which were placed talipot leaves to protect us from
the sun
and underneath the seat two long flexible
bamboos were strapped, the projecting ends of
which rested on the shoulders of four natives, who
bore us along easily and merrily. I occasionally
descended from my perch to shoot snipe in the rice-
fields, or jungle-fowl in thickets : the latter are con-
tinually announcing their position by a shrill double-
call, which is somewhat like the cry of the par-
tridge, but has no resemblance to the crowing of
a cock. This call, when commenced by one jungle-
cock, is answered by any other within hearing ; then,
with hostile intent and alternate sounds of defiance,
they gradually advance to their morning combat
they are even more pugnacious than their domestic
brethren ; and I have seen jungle-cocks, when re-
plied to (apparently in a very different dialect) from
the fowl-yard, advance within its precincts, and
give battle to its champions. In taste, their flesh
resembles that of the pheasant : in appearance, the
male is like the common red dunghill cock, only
with more glossy plumage, and a yellow spot in the
centre of the red upright comb ; the female is much
smaller in proportion, and in colour resembles the
heath-hen of the moors.
Between Hangwelle and Avisavelle, the ground
is very uneven, and much of the country is covered
with bamboo, which forms one of the most im-
penetrable kinds of low-sized jungle. At a little
distance a bamboo brush-wood resembles gigantic
rushes^ each of which, on a nearer approach, proves
to be of the size and shape of a common fishing-rod
and those which are higher than the mass, or grow
on the outside, hang over in the most
After advancing about four miles, we saw the
Kandian mountains and Adam's Peak appearing
through a wooded valley, and forming a superb
termination to the rocky banks and heavy forest
scenery into which we were entering. As we pro-
ceeded, we fell in with troops both of the Wandura
and Rilawa monkeys. The former are of a large
size, very dark grey colour, almost black, and with
long white beards ; this, with their sedate looks,
grave habits, and hoarse voices, gives them a most
patriarchal appearance. The Rilawas, on the con-
trary, are of a reddish fawn-colour, with the hair
on the top of their heads spreading from a centre,
and projecting far over their faces ; this causes them
to appear as if surmounted with a broad Scotch
bonnet, but their manners do not correspond with
their sober aspect and covenanter-looking head-
dress : they are small-sized, restless, wonderfully
active, singularly inquisitive, and unconquerably mis-
White birds, in shape resembling herons, and of
many different sizes, we met with in numbers ; by
Europeans they are all called paddy-birds, as they
are generally found in the paddy (rice) fields : along
with tliem we saw, but did not get a shot at, a
species of curlew as large as a duck, with white
plumage, and black legs and beak. We also saw
several of the birds called by the Cingalese kaen-
datta, which I do not recollect to have seen de-
scribed : they have a long serrated bill, on the upper
I 2
mandible of which rises a large horny crest, giving
to the head the general appearance of a long hel-
met, and so large as to be quite out of proportion to
the size of the body, which is not larger than that
of a duck. The kaendatta feeds entirely on fruit,
and so seldom quits the trees, that natives assert it
never alights on the ground, as from the shortness
of its legs it would be unable to raise itself again
upon the wing
: its flesh is dark-coloured and well
flavoured ; its plumage is black, with a few white
feathers in the wing.
On our arrival at Avisavelle, the Modeliar in-
formed us that the large herds were at some dis-
tance off*, and in a very dense jungle ; but that
he had certain information of a hora-alia (rogue ele-
phant) that was little more than a mile from the
rest-house. Against this one we determined im-
mediately to proceed. Natives believe a rogue
elephant to be a turbulent member expelled by
the unanimous consent and assistance of a whole
herd ; also, that he is destructive to crops and
dangerous to people, and is alike dreaded by his
own kindred and by the inhabitants in the neigh-
bourhood of his haunts : he seldom ranges beyond
ten or fifteen miles, and is generally to be found
in the same forest. Some rogue elephants have
killed many people
for, having once overcome
their dread of man, and made a successful essay,
homicide seems to become to them a favourite
amusement : they have been known repeatedly to
^ 117
remain quiet near some jungle-path (contrary to
their usual habit, which is to be always in motion)
until a victim came within their reach. I after-
wards knew an instance of a rogue elephant in
mid-day coming into an open field, killing a wo-
man by trampling her to death, and then leisurely
returning to the forest; neither irritation in the
animal, nor any inducement to the act, could be
perceived by a number of persons who were near
'the unfortunate victim. It is more easy to account
for rogue elephants attacking natives carrying loads
of rice ; this often happened during the Kandian
rebellion, although many of those Coolies (baggage
porters) who were missing, and supposed to have
been killed, merely kept out of the way, and con-
cealed themselves until a change of circumstances
should free them from the compulsory execution
of a most arduous, fatiguing, and dangerous service.
From Avisavelle we passed down the bank of
the Seetawaka river, through scenery which closely
resembled an English park; fine glades of green
turf, with clumps, thickets, and forest-trees of enor-
mous size, gave beauty to this woodland scene,
until we arrived at a thick bamboo jungle. Into
this we entered, and filed along a narrow, damp,
dark buffalo track : here the fallen leaves seemed
to be alive, from the innumerable land-leeches
that moved amongst them ; and it required the
excitement of a wild elephant in the thicket to
prevent me from stopping to pluck these ferocious
vermin from my feet, hands, and neck. In passing
along, our guide stopped, and, reaching up his hand,
pointed to a tree, the trunk of which was coated
with mud at least as far as nine feet from the
ground : this showed us the height of the elephant
of which we were in pursuit, and who had been
lately using this tree as a scratching-post. A little
farther on, and the native, who was leading, sud-
denly stopped, and, bending his head almost to the
ground, pointed to a small open swamp, at the same
time drawing in his breath, and repeating rapidly
in a whisper, Onna ! onna ! onna ! (There ! there !
look there
) Kneeling down amongst legions of
leeches, I was just in time to see a huge elephant
slowly raising himself from his luxurious mud-bath
in a shady quagmire: for a moment I hoped he
was about to charge at us ; and I was the more
impressed with this opinion from the instantaneous
shifting of our guide from the front to the rear
of our party, in which position he would no doubt
have been equally ready to lead the retreat, as, to
do him justice, he had been forward in heading the
advance. The animal, still but indistinctly seen,
paused for a second, then blew sharp through his
trunk, curled it close up, wheeled round, and tore
through the thick-set bamboos, which appeared to
yield before and close behind his ponderous figure.
It was impossible to follow into such a jungle
we therefore sought the open ground, and com-
menced shooting pigeons, which we found in con-
numbers and variety. On two different
occasions, this day, large snakes glided from before
me, and disappeared amongst the decayed leaves
of the jungle. Whether they belonged to the class
of the harmless garindi (rat-snake), or to the
poisonous naga (hooded snake), I could not decide,
as I had not as yet learned to distinguish be-
tween these serpents, which are as similar in ap-
pearance as they are different in character.
I cannot sufficiently account for the wondrous
few accidents that occur from snakes in Ceylon
that desire, common to all animals, to shun the
path of man, appears to^me the only reason of much
force which I have heard advanced. From ex-
perience I can assert that snakes, even poisonous
ones, are very numerous,* and the few deaths
which they cause is to me quite incomprehensible
therefore, the timidity of new-comers on this head
is not only a natural impulse, but a rational feeling,
and only gives way gradually before long habit and
continued impunity. Elephant shots get much
sooner rid of their fears on this subject than other
people do, as the excitement of the sport absorbs
all minor feelings, and snakes are not thought of
when elephants are to be pursued.
At Matalai, a place by no means remarkable for the num-
ber of snakes in its vicinity, I had killed in four years, and in a
space not exceeding twenty acres, ten venomous snakes, viz.
five cobra-capels, two polongas, and three karawalas : four of
these cobra-capels were upwards of five feet in length, and one
of the la-polongas measured four feet and a half.
On our way back to Avisavelle we shot pigeons
of four different kinds, called by the Cingalese
Mailagoya, Batagoya, Kurulugoya, and Kobaiya.
The mailagoya, in size, appearance, and habits when
alive, and in flavour when cooked, is the same as
the common wood-pigeon. The batagoya is a small
dark-green pigeon, with shining plumage like the
bright part of a mallard's wing : this bird is never
seen in flocks, and very generally is found solitary,
picking insects amongst the fallen leaves on jungle
footpaths ; the flesh of the batagoya has a strong
bitter taste. The kurulugoya is commonly found
in flocks, and perched on the highest trees; their
colour is a very light green, with a pink tinge on
the breast and part of the wings. The natives say
that neither the batagoya nor kurulugoya will live
in confinement. The kobaiya is like the ground
turtle-dove, of a grey colour tinged with pink :
they are very abundant in most parts of the island.
On our return to the rest-house, we commenced
divesting ourselves of the leeches, and then tried
to staunch the bleeding of their wounds : we had
been warned against plucking off these creatures
forcibly and suddenly, as tending to irritate the
wound ; but we found that touching them with
brandy instantly made them drop off; salt, gun-
powder, or lime-juice produced the same effect,
but not quite so quickly. The Ceylon land-leech
is incredibly numerous on the hills, and such parts
of the interior as are exempt from a long con-
tinuance of dry weather : they are of a brown
colour ; their usual size is about three-fourths of
an inch in length, and one-tenth of an inch in
diameter; they can, however, stretch themselves
to two inches- in length, and then are sufficiently
small to be able to pass through the stitches of
a stocking. They move quickly, are difficult to kill,
and it is impossible to divert them from their
bloody purpose ; for, in pulling them from your legs,
they stick to your hands, and fix immediately on
touching the skin, as they are free from the scru-
ples and caprice which is sometimes so annoying
in their medicinal brethren. They draw a great
deal of blood ; and this, with considerable itching,
and sometimes slight inflammation, is the extent of
annoyance which their bites give to a man in
good health ; but animals suffer more severely from
their attacks, and sheep will not thrive in pastures
where there are leeches.
We have the authority of Dr. Davy to show that,
in persons of a bad habit of body, leech-bites fester,
become sores, and degenerate into extensive ulcers,
that in too many cases have occasioned the loss
of limb and even of life." Dr. Davy's experience
of these effects was during the rebellion of 1818,
at which time the troops were exposed to so many
hardships and privations that their constitutions
were grievously impaired. From longer experience
I should be inclined, even in the extreme cases laid
to their charge, to exonerate the leeches from
graver accusation than their having inflicted punc-
tures on persons of debilitated constitutions, and
their having taken blood from those who could not
afford to lose it.
Lime-juice, vinegar, most acids, or stimulants,
soon cause the itching of leech-bites to abate, and
prevent their ulceration ; the best way to frustrate
the attacks of these insects on the nether man, is
to case one's-self in nankeen
pantaloons with feet
attached : this dress should be made with well-
joined seams, and to tie round the waist.
Having detached the leeches from our persons,
bathing after the native method was our next em-
ployment: this is a simple process; nothing more
being required than a few earthenware vessels
(water-chatties), which are easily procured. The
invariable shape of these vessels is that of a broad
depressed bulb, with a short neck about three
inches in width ; they contain a gallon and a half
or two gallons of water; and as many as the bather
requires being filled and placed within his reach,
he raises them one by one with both hands until
he can overturn and decant their contents on the
top of his head.
By the time we were dressed, dinner was ready
and this day, as on most such occasions, our bill
of fare consisted of game furnished by our guns
fowls, which in all inhabited parts of Ceylon are
to be procured in abundance, and at very moderate
prices : tongue, and a salt hump of beef, were the
only part of our feast which had accompanied
from Colombo; the table was completed by the
never to be despised, but ever present, curry and rice,
and chicken cutlets. In all parts of the island beer
and wines are cooled by immersing the bottles in
water in which saltpetre is dissolving. Oranges,
plantains, pines, and rambukans formed our dessert
the ubiquity of the first three as component
of a Cingalese
dessert is only to be matched by the
curries, which are to be found placed at every break-
fast, lunch, or dinner.
It is well to have smokers in the party if you
have taken up your quarters in a place where
chettos abound, as these troublesome
scond from the poisonous fumes of tobacco.
So bees with smoke, and doves with noisome stench,
Are from their hives and houses driven away."
And here I shall anticipate and state my
founded on eleven years' experience, that the habit
of smoking tobacco is extremely injurious
to the
health of Europeans* in Ceylon : why it has been
encouraged and sanctioned in any part of the world
is to me a matter of surprise, considering what I
have seen of its evil effects, and how little I have
ever heard or seen deliberately advanced in favour
of this practice.
This habit as yet has not become general, nor is it prac-
tised to great excess by the Cingalese ; but it is unfortunately
spreading rapidly, and may be expected to keep pace with the
increase of drunkenness,
with which it is so naturally allied.
From the description I have already
given of a
Ceylon rest-house, I have only to say of Avisavelle
that it afforded shelter, and the country around of-
fered a succession of beautiful landscapes. What-
ever the traveller might require in the way of
furniture and cooking-apparatus had to be carried
on men's shoulders, and of course were procured
of the most portable kind. A small bed with
moschetto curtains was an invariable accompani-
ment whenever I started on any expedition, unless
I travelled in a palanquin : this conveyance may be
described as a box, which serves for a house or for
a bed ; the top of a palanquin may also be used as
a table. Moschetto curtains are extremely useful
they are made of the thinnest muslin : yet I believe
them to be equally effectual in excluding malaria
as they are in preventing the intrusion of mos-
chettos. While I am on the subject of the preser-
vation of health in the jungles of Ceylon, or in tra-
velling through the country, I may mention that a cup
of strong coffee is a sure protection from the effects
of morning dews or the heavy drizzling fogs which
are most prevalent in the Kandian valleys, but in
some seasons are to be met with in all parts of the
island. These fogs, which are frequently extremely

The masticatory called Betel, hitherto in general use by the

natives, is, I believe, much more wholesome than the use of
tobacco in any shape ; moreover, instead of being an excite-
ment to
drinking, it has the effect of appeasing hunger and
dense, do not seem to be in any way prejudicial
to health beyond the effects produced on the human
frame by exposure to moisture when fasting and
thinly clothed.
The guns having been cleaned, and our ammuni-
tion arranged, we betook ourselves to rest, in hopes
that the elephants would not move off during the
night, and thus escape from our meditated attack.
Soon after daylight we were relieved from our
anxiety on this, the only point on which we had
fear or doubt, by the information that several herds
had joined, that their united numbers were between
twenty and thirty, and that they were still in the
same forest ; I now anticipated nothing less than a
speedy return to Colombo in the character of a
successful elephant shot.
By the time we had finished our breakfast, a suf-
ficient number of persons and tom-toms (native
drums) had been collected; and we started under
the guidance of the Modeliar, who
back two miles on the Hangwelle road. Here we
halted ; and, while loading our guns, he dispatched
the people and tom-toms to encircle the herd, and
to await his signal to commence driving.
We were
now directed into a narrow path in a bamboo
jungle, and, after proceeding along it for about
half a mile, the Modeliar placed Mr. S and
myself at the foot of a rising
ground; Colonel
L and Mr. H he placed a little farther up
the ascent, where the forest was more open. The
bamboos everywhere around us, except on the
winding path in which we stood, grew as closely
together, and were five times the size of common
osiers; so that from our position it was only by
stooping and peering through two or three small
openings that we could discern objects even at a
distance of five yards. There was now a dead si-
lence for a few minutes, until loud calls, proceed-
ing from persons stationed in trees, were passed
along to a considerable distance, and proved to be
the signal for the beaters to commence operations.
Soon after this, we could just distinguish a very
distant shout swell upon the breeze, and again all
was silent for a considerable time ; it was in these
quiet intervals that
the beaters were cautiously
advancing and taking up new positions on the
ground from which the elephants had receded.
After this, shouts arose somewhat nearer, and the
short pattering sound* of tom-toms could be dis-
tinguished. At this distance the general effect
produced by the long-continued shouts of the
people, combined with the noise of the advancing
All the various kinds of native drums are usually called by
Europeans tom-toms, but they have different Cingalese names,
and have even less resemblance to each other in shape than in
sound : some are large, some small, and formed like the drums
used by European regiments
others are long and narrow, wide
in the middle, and small at either end ; while another kind is
exactly the reverse, being very wide at the ends, and so narrow
in the middle as to resemble an hour-glass: there is also a
resembling kett\,e-drums.
elephants, was that of the rushing sound and heavy
fall of a great body of water ; but, as the mass
approached, the breaking of branches, the beating
of tom-toms, the wild shouts of the people, and
the crash of decayed and falling trees, could be dis-
tinguished from the ponderous tread of the ad-
vancing herds as they pressed through the yield-
ing forest.
In our position, the heat and want of air was
most oppressive, for no thick foliage shaded us
from a vertical sun ; and, although the bamboos were
insufficient for shade, they eifectually excluded the
very slight breeze which occasionally murmured
over our heads, and shook the withered leaves.
With heavy tread and noisy tumult the ele-
phants came on, and rested, as far as we could judge
from the sound, within twenty yards of us; and
then again succeeded an interval of dead silence.
To us they were still invisible, and the utmost
straining of my eye-sight was unable to gain me a
glimpse of any of them : at this time, anxiety and
excitement made my senses so acute, that not only
did I feel the pulses thump with unwonted violence,
but the ticking of my watch sounded on my ear
as if a church-clock had located itself in my pocket
neither could I turn my head without feeling and
fancying I heard the joints of my neck creak on
their pivots. The beaters in the mean time had
advanced, and, from a short distance behind and
around the elephants, arose loud shouts of people
and the rolling of tom-toms : immediately the jungle
in front of us seemed heaving forward, and a second
or two only elapsed before the heads of the two
leaders of the mass were distinct and bearing di-
rectly on us. I fired at the one immediately op-
posite to me, and not more than ten feet distant
he stopped, and was in the act of turning when I
fired again. Mr. S had also fired twice at the
other leader, and with the same want of success
for the whole herd tore back through the brush-
wood, and rushed towards the hill.
Ere we could load^ again, double shots from both
our friends on the rising ground announced the
direction which the elephants had taken, and caused
some of them to turn down; and these we heard
tearing through, and at length stationing them-
selves in the bamboos behind the place where we
stood. Having re-loaded, we cut into something
like a buffalo track, leading towards the spot where
we imagined the elephants to be ; but were soon
overtaken by a native, who endeavoured by signs
to persuade us to turn back and follow him. Tole-
rably sure of the position of our game, and not
dreaming of any accident having occurred, we w ere
pushing on, when another native came after us,
and in broken English said,
One gentleman plenty
sick." The close jungle and suffocating heat natu-
rally suggesting itself to us as the cause of his
malady, we handed to the messenger a specific in
the shape of a brandy-flask, and were about to pro-
ceed on our path, notwithstanding the deprecative
shakes of his head, and unintelligible sounds in-
tended for English, his stock of which seemed to
have been exhausted in the announcement above
quoted. At this time the noise of elephants near
us induced silence, and we distinctly heard Colonel
L calling to us that H- had been seized
by an elephant : on this we hastened to the spot,
and found H perfectly .collected, but bearing
evident marks of his recent encounter. That one
of his arms and one collar-bone were broken we
soon ascertained ; but wer^^ afraid, from marks
which showed that he had been rolled over on the
ground, that he might have received more serious
injuries. From what I heard at the time and on my
return here a few weeks afterwards, I believe that
Colonel L and H each fired both barrels
at elephants advancing on them. After the dis-
charge, as the one at which H fired rushed
forwards, he turned to receive his spare gun ; but
the native who held it had fled : H then en-
deavoured to escape, but fell ; and the animal, coming
up, knelt down, and with its head attempted to
crush him against the ground, and in doing so
rolled him over. In perfect ignorance of the peril-
ous situation of his friend, Colonel L
the elephant apparently butting against the ground,
concluded it was a wounded one, and went up for
the purpose of giving a finishing shot. On seeing
him quite near, the animal suddenly raised itself
and rushed into the jungle; while, to the utter
astonishment of Colonel L
II got up
from apparently the very spot which the elephant
had just quitted. Had Colonel L been a few
seconds later in running up, H would probably
have been sacrificed ; or, had Colonel L fired
and killed the elephant it must have fallen upon
and crushed H
who in every way had a nar-
row escape.
The active and energetic Modeliar soon caused
a temporary litter to be prepared by some of his
followers, while others cut down such bamboos as
might obstruct its carriage through the path : this
done, we soon reached the road, and afterwards
met the Modeliar's palanquin, into which we trans-
ferred our disabled friend, and proceeded towards
Hangwelle; our dinner unfortunately lying in the
opposite direction. On reaching Hangwelle we
found a boat ready, in which without loss of time
we embarked ; and the stream, that in the height
of our spirits, and when flushed with anticipated
sport, had defied our utmost exertions to proceed
on our upward voyage, now bore us swiftly along,
baffled, discomfited, and dinnerless. We reached
the bridge of boats at midnight; and, in an hour
after, H was in the fort of Colombo, attended
by the medical men, who ascertained that the only
very severe injuries he had received were those we
had already remarked.
After placing our disabled friend in the hands
of the surgeon, I accompanied Colonel L to his
house on the Galle road, and there we bethought
us how eighteen hours of fatigue and fasting might
best be repaired. As a preliminary to something
more substantial, a glass of liqueur was proposed
and, seeing it both rich and clear, I willingly con-
sented to make it a bumper. Had I been able
to control my feelings for a few seconds after
swallowing it, my kind host would also have taken
as a cordial what my premature exclamation en-
abled him to shun as an odious drug :
fine cold-
drawn castor-oil " was found printed on the label
H recovered rapidly from the effects of
his accident ; but it was a warning which, combined
with our most unwelcome fast and signal failure
in elephant shooting, was a suflOicient reason for
my commencing to acquire more minute informa-
tion regarding the interior arrangement of an ele-
phant's head before 1 should again run the risk
of facing a herd at close quarters. The Colombo
Medical Museum afforded me the opportunity of
examining the skeletons and sections of the skulls
of these animals ; by which I at once perceived that
the real information I had picked up on this sub-
ject was very limited, the instructions I had re-
ceived extremely incorrect, and that my conclusions
were proportionably erroneous. I found that the
brain of an elephant occupies but a small space,
perhaps not more than one-eighth part of the head,
the bones of which were very thin and particu-
K 2
elephant's head.
larly light. The fore part of the head (in front of
the brain) for a thickness of eight inches is formed
of cells separated by thin plates of bone : this, with
the muscles necessary to move their trunks and
support their enormous heads, is a satisfactory ex-
planation why those persons who have attempted
to shoot elephants without being close to their
game have invariably proved unsuccessful. Hav-
ing been made aware of this fact, our want of
success w^as owing, not to firing at too great a dis-
tance, but to our ignorance of the small size and
peculiar position of the brain of an elephant.
Peaceful, beneath primeval trees, that cast
Their ample shade o'er Niger's yellow stream
And where the Ganges rolls his sacred wave
Or mid the central depth of blackening woods,
High-rais'd in solemn theatre around,
Leans the huge elephant.

Second Start
Elephant Shooting,



Native Garden.



lowing Two Elephants.

The Country near Hangwelle,

Unceasing Harvest,



Elephant shot.

Brandy and Water.

Elephant jphfirge.
Fatal Accident.

Return to Hangwelle,

Deaths hy^Elephants,-^^ Major Had-


Mr, Wallett.

Extraordinary Escape.-Accident.
In December 1826, only a few weeks after the
unsuccessful attempt at elephant shooting already
related, having received a report from the Modeliar
that two elephants had appeared in his neighbour-
hood, Mr. S and I lost no time in availing our-
selves of the information, and despatching our guns
and supplies ; but, before they arrived, we presented
ourselves on horseback, and were kindly welcomed
by the Modeliar to his place near Hangwelle. His
house, which was large, and built on the plan of
those inhabited by Europeans in Colombo, stood in
a beautiful situation, commanding a view of Adam's
Peak, and was surrounded by thriving plantations
and an extensive garden of young cocoa-nut trees.
Amongst other fruit-trees, I here for the first time
saw the rambukan in full bearing. The outer rind
of this fruit (a very rough skin) is first green, but
when ripe changes to a dark scarlet colour ; this be-
ing removed, the inside presents a clear, cool, mu-
cilaginous substance, adhering to a hard, unpalatable
kernel : there is, therefore, little to eat in the ram-
bukan; but it possesses refreshing properties and
an agreeable flavour. The rambukan was, I be-
lieve, originally brought from China ; but in Ceylon
it grows without trouble, and bears fruit in seven or
eight years. On learning that the whole of this
plantation, as well as the ground on which the
buildings stood, had been cleared from jungle only
a few years previously, I was astonished that a specu-
lation so evidently successful, and so much in ac-
cordance with the habits of the people, seemed to
find few or no imitators. I had yet to learn, and
did not then discover, how completely every im-
provement of men, manners, and the soil, was
checked, even prevented, by the system of com-
pulsory labour and services, with their concomitant
abuses, which then prevailed, as it always had done
under Cingalese, Portuguese, and Dutch rulers.
Soon after our arrival two men appeared before
the Modeliar to ask his advice, and to explain their
inability to pay certain taxes, in consequence of
the extensive damage done to their garden of young
cocoa-nut trees by porcupines, vy^hich, during the
absence of the proprietors on Government service,
had entirely destroyed a promising plantation, the
joint labour of these men for several years. The
favourite food of the porcupine is the heart of young
cocoa-nut trees, which it is often difficult to guard
from their attacks
as, even if surrounded with
stones or a wall, these creatures will burrow under
and destroy the plant. They are also very destruc-
tive to fences, through which they easily gnaw a
passage ; and this serves to

admit hares and t^e
meeminna* into the cultivated grounds and gardens.
If disturbed in their path, (and they are the most
capricious of all created animals,) porcupines will fre-
quently cut a new gap every succeeding night for a
week before hitting on one that will serve them for
permanent approach. At a later period of my stay
in Ceylon, one of these animals, caught young, and
brought up as a pet about my house, became so
familiar as to accompany the person who usually
fed it to a considerable distance : it occasionally
absented itself for two or three days at a time, but
always returned, generally making its first appear-
ance after its wanderings in the dinner-room, to
A very small, nimble, and beautiful species of deer com-
mon in Ceylon.
which it might be heard snuffing its way soon after
the meat was put on the table. It was particular in
examining (principally by smelling, a sense it pos-
sessed very acutely) all corners of the house for
crickets, and in remarking any change in the posi-
tion of the furniture. One night, having pushed
open the door of a room in which a gentleman was
sleeping, it immediately proceeded to the work of
demolishing a dressing-case; the noise it made in
this operation having awakened the proprietor, he
flew to the rescue, but had no little difficulty in
wresting his property from Porky, who left the room
in very bad humour, and continued snuffing and bus-
tling about the outside of the house for the remain-
der of the night. Shakspeare has admirably charac-
terized the porcupine ; it is essentially fretful : even
this one, after it had attained its full size, although
tame, fearless, and enjoying perfect liberty, was sel-
dom five minutes in one's presence without exhibiting
some sudden act of caprice, pettishness, or passion.
Our intelligent host, the Modeliar, seemed per-
fectly aware of the advantages of education, and had
proved his sincerity of conviction on this head by
sending one of his sons to be educated at the Cal-
cutta college. This young man, from his acquire-
ments and character, was one of the first native
gentlemen who benefited by the liberal and enlight-
ened policy embodied in the royal charter granted
to Ceylon in 1833.
The report brought in by the natives who had
been sent to watch the elephants was very unsatis-
factory. The only two that had appeared in the
neighbourhood had moved off, and were last seen
near a village six or seven miles from Hangwelle.
Being determined to follow them, we started two
hours before daylight next morning; and pro-
ceeded across the country, through narrow jungle
paths, to the place where it was expected they had
taken up their free quarters. This was in a swampy
jungle, beyond which rose a rocky hill about three
hundred feet in height, partly covered with trees
and thickets, and joined by a narrow neck to a bare
black rock shaped like a haycock. These hills ap-
peared like outposts to the line of low-sized moun-
tains along which formerly ran the boundary line
between the Kandian country and the British terri-
tory. Here we found ourselves at fault ; but, while
our followers were scanning the jungle, a man ar-
rived, and, through the Modeliar, earnestly besought
us to push on and destroy the two elephants, that
had stationed themselves in his cocoa-nut and coffee
garden, and had torn down and destroyed a number
of his trees. We had already travelled six miles,
and now advanced five more ; and then breakfasted
close to a small and very thick bamboo jungle, into
which the elephants had retired.
In the direction we had come, I was surprised at
the small proportion which the cleared and culti-
vated land bore to that which was still in a state of
nature. The extent of connected woods, the height
of the trees, the prodigious size, length, and regular
spiral form of the creeping plants that scaled the
loftiest stems and then extended themselves over
the surrounding thicket, the
unpierced shade"
of the forest, the blaze of light on the field, com-
bined to produce an indescribable richness of effect,
marred only by the profuse oppressive luxuriance of
vegetation, from which the eye had no escape.
Embosomed in wood, a few small rice-fields occa-
sionally presented themselves ; and the cultivators,
who had been on the alert all night to protect their
crops from wild animals, were now emerging from
watch-huts (perched in trees and on rocks), and
straggling home to their morning meal: none of
the houses were to be seen, they are always in
shade ; but their locality is easily ascertained (in the
interior) by the evidence of cocoa-nut trees.
On one side might be seen portions of the rice-
field in every stage of preparation, from those but
partly abandoned by the reaper, yet already under
the hands of the ploughman, up to the level bed of
mud ready to receive the already sprouted grain
here, in short, appeared endless spring and ceaseless
summer. On the other side might be traced grain
in every part of its progress, from the first scatter-
ing of the seed until its produce was again trodden
under the feet of buffaloes on a threshing-floor,
which was merely a space cleared and levelled from
adjoining bank of the field. All this gave
proof of an everlasting summer bordering upon
autumn. In this part of Ceylon
seed-time and
harvest" never cease; cold and winter are alike
The arrangements for driving out the elephants
having been completed, we were stationed on an
extensive slope facing the semicircular jungle, which
the beaters had surrounded. Our position was on a
buffalo track, perfectly without shelter from the
sun, and with no other screen for our persons than a
bush about four feet high, behind which we sat,
and through which we could distinctly see the pro-
gress of the people employed in driving. As the
animals showed evident signs of maintaining their
position, the people were obliged to be cautious in
advancing, and their proceedings appeared to us to
be painfully tedious. Our impatience arose from
two circumstances; viz. our anxiety to encounter
the elephants, and a desire to escape from the
fierce sun that darted directly upon us. Full two
hours we continued in this position ; at last the
elephants broke from the jungle, and bore directly
towards the place where we remained concealed.
We allowed them to approach until one was within
ten or twelve feet (the other being partly behind)
we then stood up, and they slightly turned to the
right, by which one was effectually screened by the
other as they attempted to rush past. Mr. S
and I both fired at the nearest, which fell over at our
feet ; while we dashed up the steep slope, expecting
to overtake the other, or that he would turn on us
when he gained the verge of the forest. In this we
were disappointed, and only fired two random shots
as he disappeared through the closing jungle. The
great excitement was now over, and I began to feel
the effects of the burning sun to which we had been
so long exposed in a bare field : my skin was tight,
dry, and burning hot; my face flushed, my head
dizzy, and my frame weak. In deference to the
opinion of others, and contrary to my own theory

that brandy or any other stimulant (even in

this climate and under violent exercise) was un-
necessary and hurtful,I was accompanied by a per-
son carrying brandy and water. A tumbler of this
restorative I hastily filled, and eagerly swallowed.
Little did I expect the instantaneous and beneficial
change which it produced : the disagreeable symp-
toms vanished ; and I, who one minute before was
weak and helpless, now felt perfectly able for any
fatigue. The greatest relief I experienced was the
skin again becoming moist, an effect the more readily
produced by the water becoming tepid from expo-
sure to the sun.
From this digression those who read may be in-
clined to think, as I did, that our day's work was
over ; and that to retrace our steps after taking off
our elephant's tail (the elephant's tail, like the
fox's brush, is the signal of victory), was all that
remained for us to do. On the contrary, the ele-
phant kept possession of his tail, and we lost one of
our followers,

thus. Mr. S and I were lei-

surely descending the hill, and approaching the
bulky mass,a dead elephant, as we for the last
twenty minutes supposed it to be ; and around the
carcass fifty or sixty people had assembled, and
were squatted on their haunches, chewing betel.
Suddenly we saw them spring to their feet, and the
assembly appeared to be rapidly diverging from the
late centre of attraction : we could now distinguish
the elephant moving on the ground ; then heard
him blowing shrilly through his trunk, and perceived
that he was attempting to rise. We had discharged
our good guns, and they were not reloaded
so that
three cut-down muskets were all we had left, ex-
cept one single barrel, which had been given to a
young boy to carry, and he was still far behind.
The elephant was already on his knees ; no time
was to be lost : we rushed forward, and discharged
the three muskets close to his head.* Luckily for
us, he moved off in the opposite direction from
where we stood. At this moment the gallant little
native boy came up, and thrust the single barrel
into my hand. I fired ; the elephant dropped on his
knees, and in that situation remained full half a
minute; then recovered himself, and dashed into
the jungle near to where he first broke cover.
Those who know what utterly worthless and unserviceable
firelocks pass under this name, and are issued to the working
portion of the British army, may not be prepared to hear that
all the three muskets went off; certainly they will not be sur-
prised to learn, that, although fired within three feet of the
animal's head, they had no effect in retarding his motions.
While we were loading our guns the beaters again
surrounded the jungle. This was only completed
when we saw the elephant dash through the bamboo
thicket, which yielded before his furious charge and
weighty body as if it was but a field of water-reeds.
His trunk was now erect ; and, emitting a loud and
long-continued squeal, he directed his headlong
force against a withered tree which grew on a rocky
bank. The tree was broken, and hurled to the
ground. The day was now far spent, and the ani-
mal appeared so furious that the beaters were re-
called: the last of the party which had accompa-
nied us from Hangwelle was seen to emerge from
the jungle, and we were about to proceed home-
wards, when the man ran up to inform the Mo-
deliar that he had seen the mangled body of a man
lying near the tree which the elephant had cast
down. We were not long in getting a path cleared
to the place, and in having the unfortunate man re-
moved to the outside of the jungle; he was still
alive, but insensible and dreadfully mangled. One
native asserted that he was near when the accident
happened, and saw the elephant strike the man as
he was falling from the tree ; but, from the nature
of the wounds, I believe they were occasioned by
the man being pitched from a considerable height,
and alighting headforemost amongst broken rocks.
The person who thus lost his life was the owner of
the ground, and the same who had called us in the
morning in hopes we would have rid him of the
animals which had ravaged his plantations. The
man survived for three days ; the elephant died the
same night, after making his way to a neighbour-
mg stream,
Having conveyed the man to his own house,
and rendered every assistance in our power, we
started on our return to Hangwell^, although the
sun was already set ; and, from the indistinct and
winding nature of our path, we did not reach
the Modeliar's house until eleven o'clock p.m., and
nineteen hours after M^e started in the morninsf.
The Modeliar, although an elderly man, bore the
fatigue well, and acted the landlord with much hos-
pitality; but his sense of propriety was evidently
severely tried when for some time he strove to re-
sist joining in the mirth which was excited by one
of the party falling fast asleep in the middle of
dinner, with an arm snugly deposited in a huge
oval dish of rice pudding.
The two elephants we had been in pursuit of
this day were larger than those I had seen on a
former occasion ; but altogether their size was not
so great as I was prepared to expect, and they had
a reddish colour, which I could not account for.
Their size, I presume, did not produce its full ef-
fect in consequence of the gigantic portions of
forest vegetation with which they were in contact
but I afterwards discovered that wild elephants
are very rarely so large as tame ones : the red
colour of their skins was that of the earth in this
neighbourhood ; for elephants in the heat of the day
employ a great portion of their time in picking up
dust with their trunks, and scattering it over their
bodies. To these accidents from elephants in this
neighbourhood I may add the melancholy death of
Major Haddock of the 97th regiment, which oc-
curred some time after, within a mile of Ruan-
well^ ;*
at which place his family resided, he being
Ruanwelle on the Kellania-ganga, and nine miles beyond
the commandant and agent of Government for the
surrounding district. The elephant he was in pur-
suit of, after being severely wounded and driven
back into the forest, reappeared close to Major
Haddock, who fired and immediately moved to one
side ; his servant, who had stood behind him, then
fired ; and the animal turned off towards Major
Haddock, whom he seized, threw down, and tram-
pled to death. This was the work of a moment
for the servant flew to the spot, and, while lie^
was raising the mangled remains of his gallant
master, the elephant walked slowly off. Sir Robert
Wilmot Horton, Governor of Ceylon, has erected
a stone pillar, with an inscription, to mark the pre-
cise spot where this melancholy catastrophe oc-
Elephant shooting, in exciting interest, as far ex-
ceeds any other sport in Ceylon, as does the animal
itself compared with the lesser tenants of the
forest. From the strength of all, and the fierce-
ness of some elephants, prompt measures and pre-
sence of mind are absolutely necessary to the
sportsman's safety; yet Major Haddock was the
only European gentleman killed by an elephant
during my residence in Ceylon, and
I believe he
was quite inexperienced, and moreover had en-
trusted his spare gun to a native, who fled when
the animal first rushed out from the jungle. That
this was the only fatal accident to an elephant-shot
may be considered astonishing, when I recollect
how few of those that followed the sport but had
been on various occasions in imminent danger, and
narrowly escaped (some not altogether unhurt) from
the encounter.
It was only a few months after I had written
the above remark on the numerous and narrow
escapes of elephant-shots, that I received intelli-
gence of the melancholy death of another acquaint-
ance, a most promising young man, whose un-
timely fate is thus described in the Ceylon news-

Mr. Wallett (only son of Brevet-major Wallett,
C.R.R. commandant of Jaffna) was killed by an
elephant on Thursday last, near Ruanwelle. It
appears that, having heard of a tusker,* Mr. Wal-
lett, attended by two native boys, went in pursuit,
and met it in a herd of three. He fired one barrel,
and is said to have hit the animal ; but the second
barrel of his gun missed fire, and the elephant
rushed upon him before he could get another
gun from his terrified attendants. It immediately
crushed him to death, and went off for a few
minutes; but, returning, thrust his tusks through
the body, and tore all the clothes off it. It is a
curious coincidence that Mr. Wallett lost his life
not far distant from the place where Major Had-
dock was killed by an elephant seven years ago."

Colombo Observer, 1st October 1838.

An elephant with tusks is commonly called by Cingalese
sportsmen a
Lieutenant Gallwey, 90th Light Infantry, and
Ensign Scroggs, of the 18th Royal Irish Regiment,
proceeded last Thursday to the place where Mr.
Wallett was killed by the elephant, in expectation
of finding the animal, and being revenged for the
loss of their deceased friend.
The following are the particulars of the en-
counter in which Messrs. Scroggs and Gallwey de-
stroyed the elephant to whose fury Mr. Wallett
recently fell a victim; from which it will be
seen that these gentlemen, or one of them at
least, narrowly escaped the fate of their lamented

"The elephant having been constantly watched

since Mr. Wallett's death, no delay took place in
pointing out his position
but, owing to heavy rain,
it was not till four in the afternoon that Messrs.
Scroggs and Gallwey could venture to go in search
of him. Very shortly after entering a dense bamboo
jungle, they discovered him slowly approaching
them ; and, having allowed him to come pretty close,
both gentlemen fired together at his head. The
atmosphere being so exceedingly damp and heavy,
the smoke hung around for some seconds, during
which they were in the most anxious suspense, not
knowing the position of the elephant; till, on its
clearing a little, they saw him still advancing on
them, when, on receiving the contents of their two
remaining barrels, he turned round and fell on his
knees. Quickly recovering himself, however, he
L 2
retreated rapidly through the jungle, closely fol-
lowed by his pursuers, who again fired three shots
at him without any apparent effect, his position
rendering it exceedingly difficult to see a vulner-
able spot. The fourth shot, however, fired by Mr.
Scroggs, as the elephant turned half round, took
effect somewhere in the side of his head, and again
brought him to his knees.
"A halt now took place to load the guns, and,
this being accomplished, both gentlemen ran on
the elephant's track for nearly half a mile at the
top of their speed without getting a sight of him
till at last, on reaching the commencement of a
slight descent, he was discovered about twenty
yards off, still retreating; but, on seeing his pur-
suers, he wheeled round and rushed furiously at
them. Mr. Gallwey, who was in front, fired both
barrels deliberately into his head, but without stop-
ping him for an instant ; and had barely time to
throw himself to one side out of the path of the
infuriated animal, whose trunk, as Mr. Gallwey
turned round to escape, was within six feet of him.
At this instant, Mr. Scroggs, who was about six
yards behind Mr. Gallwey, fired at the right temple
of the elephant; and the next moment had to
crouch to one side to allow the brute to pass him,
which he did, almost touching Mr. Scroggs, and
without appearing to notice him. Directly he had
passed, Mr. Scroggs ran for a yard or two across
the jungle, hoping to get a side-shot at his head
and in this he succeeded, for, the moment he
crossed the path so as to come on the left side of
the elephant, the brute wheeled round to get at
him, and, as he was in the act of doing so, Mr.
Scroggs fired his last barrel, which, taking effect
immediately behind the left ear, produced instant
On examining the head, it appeared that the
shot which Mr. Scroggs fired at the right temple
just as Mr. Gallwey jumped to one side, had pro-
videntially knocked out the elephant's right eye
and, as both gentlemen fortunately took to their
own left in getting out of the brute's path, this
circumstance accounted for their escape. Had they
taken the other side, one, if not both, must have
perished. The elephant was the largest ever seen
by Mr. Gallwey, who has killed nearly one hundred
with his own gun, but we are unable to state his
exact dimensions."

Colombo Observer, 22nd October

The following adventure, relating to one of the
gentlemen who killed the elephant, is copied from
a published letter, dated in January 1837.
We had excellent sport, having
bagged' one
hundred and six elephants among four of us in
three days ; but I had a narrow escape from shoot-
ing my friend G . We had all followed
elephants into a thick bit of jungle, and came up
with them at an opening of perhaps twenty feet
square. G and 1 went at the same
which, after taking some shots from both of us,
and one or two from our companions, got into the
cover, but suddenly burst out again almost upon
who was close behind it, and who, being
unloaded, bolted back, and stumbled over the trunk
of a dead elephant, sufficiently within reach of the
live one. In the mean time, a Cooly had put a
fresh gun into my hand ; and, as I fired, G ,
rising from his stumble, brought the top of his cap
on the line of sight. I saw the cap jerk and open,
and the elephant drop at the same instant. The
cap was of wicker-work, covered with blue nan-
keen, and in shape a hunting-cap, fitting close to
the head : the ball had opened full four inches of it
his hair was not cut, but still it was a frightfully
close shave."
This was not the only accident to the same dar-
ing and successful sportsman, who, only a few days
after this adventure, escaped with life, but not un-
scathed, having received a very severe contusion
from the blow of a wounded elephant.
Not vainly did the early Persian make
His altar the high places and the peak
Of earth-o'ergazing mountains, and thus take
A fit and unwall'd temple, there to seek
The spirit in whose honour shrines are weak
Uprear'd of human hands. Come and compare
Columns and idol-dwellings, Goth and Greek,
With Nature's realms of worship, earth and air;
Nor fix on fond abodes to circumscribe thy prayer !
Set out
AdmrCs Peak.

Ancient Temple at Kellania,

Visited by Gautama Bvddha,

Kellania Tissa
Her Death.

the High-priest

West Coast

Wihari Dewi.

Native Potters.

Kandy defeated at HangwellL
Cowardice and
Cruelty. Seetawdka.
Itaja Singha the Apostate.

Ceylon Bird

Mountain Scenery.


Having, from my first landing in the autumn
of 1826, been eager to visit the mountains of the
interior, I only waited for the season most free from
clouds and rain, and started in February 1827 for
Samanala (Adam's Peak). This mountain, from the
earliest ages, has been an object of veneration to
the inhabitants of the East, and was for centuries
a theme of interest and mystery to those of the
West, until the conquest of the Kandian country
opened the way to this sacred citadel of ancient
The route by which I proceeded to Adam's Peak
lay for some distance along the left bank of the Kel-
lania-ganga, having diverged from the great Kandy
road at the bridge of boats across that river. The
Kellania-ganga derives its name from a village
situated on the right bank, and possessing, as a
memorial of its antiquity, a dagoba, which, B.C. 280,
was extended by the tributary King Yatalatissa
over one built on the same spot by the Naga King
Mahodara, B.C. 580. Kellania was probably the
capital, and has for ages been the chief place for
the worship of Weebeesana, a hero of the Ramayan,
grandson of Pulastyia,* friend of Rama, the traitor-
ous brother and deified successor of Rawena on the
throne of
Lanka.f At the time of Gautama Budd-
ha's appearance,:]: Kellania would seem to have been
the capital of a division of the island called Naga-
Diwayina; and that its inhabitants, called Nagas,
were easily converted, and afterwards zealously ad-
hered to the Buddhistical doctrines, for which they
were rewarded by various relics and a second visit
Vishravas, called Pulastyia (Ramayan).
The Rajawallia states this to have happened 1844 years
before Buddha, or b.c. 2387.
B.C. 588.


of the Buddha. In his first visit to Ceylon, Gau-
tama converted the Nagas, and settled a dispute
between two of their Princes, Chulodara and Ma-
hodara, who made an offering to him of the throne
composed of gold, inlaid with precious stones,
which had been the original cause of their quarrel
over this throne a dagoba was built, and is encased
in the one now standing. At the request of Mi-
niasa, uncle of the Naga King Mahodara, Gau-
tama made his third visit to Ceylon, and left the
impression of his foot beneath the waters of the
river : a deep eddy in the stream is now pointed
out as the spot; it is near the temple, and the
natives say that the circling of the current here
is the Kellania-ganga descending in homage to
this sacred memorial. Having arranged the dis-
putes of the Nagas and confirmed their faith, the
prophet departed for Samanala, Digganakhya,* and
the other places which had been sanctified by the
presence of former Buddhas.
The follovidng romantic legend, connected with
Digganakhya. The principal buildings at this place were
erected by Saidatissa in the second century before Christ, and
there is little doubt that their ruins form the subject of the
following note of Bertolacci's work on Ceylon

There is a pagoda, forty miles south of Batticaloa, in the
centre of a very thick forest. It was unknown to Europeans
until discovered by Mr. Sawyers, collector of Batticaloa, in the
year 1810. I should be at a loss in what era to class it.
The size of the building is gigantic ; and the prejudiced natives
report that it was erected many thousand years ago by giants
ten cubits tall. The cone, forming the pagoda, is entirely
Kellania, is to be found in Cingalese histories
the period is about 200 B.C.
The beautiful Queen of Tissa, King of Kellania,
having been seduced by his brother Uttiya and
their intercourse detected, he fled to Gampola;
from thence he soon after sent an emissary dis-
guised as a priest. " This person was instructed to
mix in the crowd of priests, who, along with their
chief, daily attended at the palace to receive their
alms ; at which time it was expected the messenger
might find an opportunity of safely delivering a
letter with which he was entrusted to the Queen,
who always assisted at the distribution of alms.
The disguised messenger entered the palace along
with a multitude of priests, and, having caught the
eye of the Queen, dropped the letter: the sound
of its fall was heard by the King, who immediately
turned round and seized it. The King, having
covered with brick and mortar ; its basis is about one quarter of
a mile in circumference, and the top and sides are now planted
with large trees that have fixed their roots in the ruins, and,
elevating their heads fifty or sixty feet high, shade this little
* * *
The pagoda which I am describing is surrounded by a
square enclosure, a mile in circumference, consisting of a broad
wall made of bricks and mortar, and having within it a number
of cells. The entrance to this enclosure is through a colonnade
of stone pillars about ten feet high.
Near the pagoda are seen the ruins of another large build-
ing of the same materials. Some of the natives report that
it was the palace of a king, erected many years after the
perused the guilty
communication, in the height of
his fury decided that the High-priest must be
cognizant of the intrigue; for not only had the
come as a priest in his train, but the
letter appeared to the King to have been written
by the
He was forthwith thrown
into a cauldron of boiling oil ; at the same time,
the Queen was bound and cast into the river, and
the messenger was hewn in pieces. The real writer
was afterwards
ascertained, and it was then re-
membered that Uttiya had been a pupil of the un-
High-priest, and had acquired exactly
the same method of writing.
Not long after these events, the sea began to
rapidly on the west coast of Ceylon, and
King became persuaded that this calamity was
judgment against him for the cruel and unjust
sentence he had executed on the High-priest. In
hopes of preventing the onward progress of the
waves, and to appease the wrath of those gods who
control the waters, Tissa determined to sacrifice
his virgin daughter Sudhadewi ; and, having se-
cured her in a covered golden canoe, on which
was inscribed
a royal maiden," he caused it to
be launched into the ocean. The flood continued
to increase
and the monarch, mounted on his
elephant, had proceeded to view the destructive
effects of the raging waters : while thus engaged,
the earth opened, and the King disappeared amidst
flames which burst from the sinking wreck of his
richest provinces. Before the waves ceased to en-
croach upon the land, six hundred and forty villages
(four hundred and seventy of which were principally
inhabited by divers for pearls) had been over-
whelmed, and the distance between Kellania and
the sea-coast had been reduced from twenty-five to
four miles.
The vessel in which the young Princess was im-
molated, having been drifted to the south-west, was
discovered and brought to land by some fishermen
in the Magam district, which was at that time a
separate kingdom, under the control of Kawantissa
Raja. He, having heard of the mysterious appear-
ance of the golden canoe, proceeded to the coast
at Totalu Ferry ; and, after reading the inscription,
released the Princess, whose name he changed to
Wihari Dewi, and whom he afterwards married.
Wihari Dewi became the mother of Dootoo-
gaimoonoo, a prince who restored the Cingalese
power, and expelled the Malabars, to whom both
Kellania Tissa and Kawantissa had been tributaries.
Many Buddhists believe that her merits and good
fortune are so great, that, in a future transmigration,
she will become the mother of Mytr^e, the expected
The path, as I proceeded, lay very much through
cocoa-nut tree plantations; and, when it emerged
from them, it was either to enter on some swampy
plain of levelled rice-fields, or to cross some low ridge
covered with brushwood. These rising grounds are
only cleared and cultivated periodically, after a
lapse of seven, eight, or ten years, according to
the circumstances of the people and quality of the
soil. When the proper time arrives, the brushwood
is cut down, and in a few days is sufficiently dry
to admit of being burned on the ground
the ashes
are then scattered, and form the only stimulant
or manure which the land receives; this simple
form of tillage is completed by slightly hoeing the
surface preparatory to sowing the grain. Various
kinds of corn which do not require irrigation are
usually raised ; but in the moist parts of the Kan-
dian provinces a particular species of rice is cul-
tivated, on high grounds which have been ploughed,
or turned over with a large hoe : although a pre-
carious crop, this species of rice, in favourable sea-
sons, yields a most abundant return. After the
ground is prepared, there is still a material work
to perform in fencing around the field
and for
this purpose sticks enough have been spared from
the conflagration : these, stuck in endways close
together, and tied with creeping plants, form a
sufficient fence against small animals ; but, to pro-
tect the crop from hogs, buffaloes, and elephants,
numerous watch-huts are erected, and are always
occupied during the night by the cultivators.
The villages on the road to Hangwell^ are prin-
cipally occupied by potters, and I was much struck
with the elegant form of the common earthenware
vessels which they were employed in making. They
commenced by placing the prepared clay on a flat
stone two feet in diameter, moving horizontally on
a pivot ; and the manner of working is exactly de-
scribed in the two lines of Homer :
Fleet as the wheel whose use the potter tries,
When, whirl'd beneath his hand, its axle flies."
In the manufacture of earthenware, if elegance
of form alone were to be consulted, without regard
to utility or convenience, the Cingalese potters are
certainly much superior to their brethren of the
trade in Europe ; but, besides that the small base
and great height of some of their vessels render
them more liable to accidents, long narrow necks
prevent the eye from detecting the existence of
impurity within, nor can the hand be introduced
for the purpose of having them cleaned.
The village of Hangwelle, on the banks of the
Kellania-ganga, had a small fort, which is now
unoccupied and in ruins, but was at one time a
post of some consequence, as commanding the
principal routes both by land and water which
led from the interior of the island to Colombo. In
1803, the garrison of this place, amounting only
to one hundred men, principally invalids, under
Captain Pollock, 51st regiment, gave a signal de-
feat to the last King of Kandy and the multitude
of his rabble army. This occurred at the time
when, flushed with the butchery he had perpetrated
on a sickly detachment of troops under Major
Davie, the King and his councillors, mistaking
falsehood and treachery for policy and courage,
imagined themselves capable of overthrowing the
British power in Ceylon, and had advanced thus
far on their way to attack Colombo. The King
was amongst the first who fled, and, during the
rout, having been
overtaken by two of his chiefs,*
he attempted to screen his own cowardice and
satisfy his cruelty by accusing them of want of
energy, and ordering their immediate execution:
other victims would have shared their fate, had not
an accidental and trifling noise renewed the per-
sonal fears of the royal monster, and induced him
to resume his flight.
Captain Pollock destroyed a richly ornamented
bungaloe, erected not far from Hangwelle for the
reception of the King. In front of it stood two
stakes, on which it was intended to impale the
English prisoners
they exactly agree with the de-
scription of those barbarous instruments given by
Knox in his historical relation of Ceylon, published
in the year
From Hangwelle to Avisavelle the scenery gra-
dually improves, and the situation of the rest-house
and village at the latter place is particularly pretty
but, before reaching Avisavelle, a sudden halt, and
continued shouts from the palanquin bearers, an-
nounced that the road was occupied by elephants,
and had the eflect of making them retire into the
jungle. It was close to this spot that I had my
Called Leuke and Pahalapane.
Cordiner's Ceylon.
first adventure in elephant shooting, which has been
already described.
From Avisavelle I crossed the small but naviga-
ble river, a tributary stream of the Kellania-ganga,
for the purpose of examining the ruins of Seeta-
waka, once the residence of the longest-lived, if
not the bloodiest tyrant in modern history. Raja
Singha of Seetawaka, surnamed bj?. Buddhists the
Apostate. During a dangerous illness. Raja Singha,
enraged at the discouraging replies made to him
by Buddhist priests when he wished to receive con-
solatory promises, caused many of them to be put
to death, their sacred and historical books to be
burned, and gave the custody of the Sree Pada
(sacred footstep on Adam's Peak) to some Fakirs,
whose assurances were more consonant to his wishes.
From that sickness the King recovered, and died
(after being defeated in battle by Don Juan), partly
from chagrin, partly from an accident,

a thorn
which ran into his foot,at the great age of one
hundred and twenty years. In his later years Raja
Singha added impiety and apostacy to the long and
otherwise complete catalogue of his crimes. The
age of Raja Singha is mentioned by the Portu-
guese historian, who had good opportunities of ac-
quiring correct information on this point; for the
tyrant was not only the inveterate enemy, but also
the near neighbour to the Portuguese in Colombo.
Instances of great longevity are by no means
rare in the Kandian country: in Matale, I knew
several persons upwards of one hundred years of
age ; and, immediately before leaving that place
in 1837, I had the satisfaction of seeing one of
them reap an excellent crop of rice, on ground
which he had himself, in the previous year, cleared
from a thick forest, and then prepared with the
he had also watched his field in an open
hut, and protected it from the inroad of wild
Seetawaka is said formerly to have been called
Seetawade, and to have obtained that name from
its being the spot, according to Hindu tradition,
where Indrajit caused a figure resembling the cap-
tive Seeta to be beheaded, in order that Rama,
giving up all hopes of regaining his consort, might
abandon the war he was then waging against Ra-
wena for her recovery. Seetawaka stands on an
angular piece of ground, formed by a bend of the
river and a ravine ; and here, within several qua-
drilateral enclosures, is situated the remains of the
Bairainde Kowilla, erected for demon worship by
Raja Singha about the middle of the sixteenth
century. The thickness of the jungle, which grew
luxuriantly, and spread from the interstices of its
well-laid pavement, prevented me from obtaining
a correct measurement of its size, or knowledge
of its peculiar
architecture ; but, so far as I could
discern, it
appeared to have occupied the centre
of an elevated
stone platform of eighty feet square,
and to have been about thirty feet in length, formed
handsome carved pillars supporting a cornice.
The plan of the pillars of this building appeared
to be as if eight ornamented pilasters projected,
two on each side, from a plain square pillar. This
building was overthrown when Seetawaka was taken
and burnt by the Portuguese in the' latter part of
the sixteenth century; and the foundations and
part of the walls of one of their forts, which com-
manded the site of this town, still remain on the
elevated bank and opposite side of the river.
A bird, called the Ceylon Bird of Paradise by
Europeans, although it is merely a long-tailed fly-
catcher, is very common in this part of the island,
and may be seen flitting about in the thick copses
and dark ravines. It is about the size of a spar-
row, with a black head, and a tail ^Ye times its
own length, composed of very flexible feathers of
pure white : the disproportioned length of this bird's
tail gives it the appearance of having a narrow
piece of cloth attached to it, and is the origin of
the Cingalese name Redi-hora (cloth-stealer).
From Avisavelle the road was almost level, pass-
ing along a delightful valley, on one side of which
arose a variety of abrupt rocks and peaked hills
covered with wood, while on the other and more
inland side the range of mountains was continuous
but the highest ridges were obscured by a dense
mass of vapour. After our arrival at Nacondell^,
the evening cleared up, and disclosed Adam's Peak
opposite to us, and beyond the square pillar-like
mountain of rock called Uno-Dliia-Parawatia, which
towered over ridges of nearer hills, its perpendi-
cular sides reflecting the setting sun, and contrast-
ing powerfully with the verdant covering and deep
shadows that darkened the valleys.
In advancing from Nacondelle to Ratnapoora,
I was occasionally surprised to observe how firmly
the bearers kept their feet, and supported the palan-
quins, in passing along some single slight elastic tree,
or bamboo, which acted as a bridge to a ravine of
considerable depth. As we travelled this stage dur-
ing the night, we required the light of chules,
which are bunches of dried cocoa-nut leaves or
bamboos : the glare of light which these throw
around, and the noise of the persons who carry
them, are effectual protections against elephants,
and have a grand effect in passing through a stately
forest or rocky pass.
Ratnapoora is a small fort, occupying the sum-
mit of a rocky hillock, which rises in a long narrow
valley bounded on all sides by high and thickly
wooded hills. The fort, although a place of no
military strength, is sufficient protection against
natives; and, in the time of the rebellion, gave
security to a considerable village which lies under
its walls. The Kalu-ganga, which even here is little
more than fifty feet above the level of the sea, runs
near the fort, and affords to this part of the country
the advantage of water-carriage
to Caltura and
but it frequently
overflows the whole
M 2
valley around Ratnapoora, only leaving visible the
fort, and a little rising ground on which is situated
the residence of the agent of Government for the
district of Saffragam. In looking up the gap
through which the Kalu-ganga issues from the great
mountain range, three summits (apparently of equal
height) presented themselves ; for the very moist
atmosphere at this place prevented me from dis-
tinguishing (unless for a few minutes immediately
after sunrise) that two of these peaks are much
nearer than Samanala, and inferior in elevation.
Majestic woods, of every vigorous green,
Stage above stage, high waving o'er the hills,
Or to the far horizon wide difFus'd,

A boundless deep immensity of shade.

Mr. Turnour,

Ratnapoora to ascend the Peak,



Cingalese Forest.


Metal Frame
the Sacred Footstep.

hammedan and Hindu Pilgrims.



tain Torrents.





Pilgrims bathing.

the Ridge.

Mohammedan Traditions.

the Cone.


Ladies ascend the Peak.
tJie Sum-

The Sacred Footstep.

from Adams Peak.

Deiya Guhawa.


dinary Night Scene.

the Peak.





Ratnapoora to Caltura.

The Kalu-ganga.


Kalamander Wood.

Caltura to Colombo.
At Ratnapoora I spent some days with Mr.
Turnour, who has since done so much in restoring
Cingalese history, in developing that of India, and
in examining the primitive religion of Gautama
At four o'clock in the morning, Mr. B and
I set out on foot from Ratnapoora to ascend the
Peak, but did not reach Gillemalle until near eight,
although the distance is only seven miles : the road,
which was very uneven, kept generally near the
bank of the river, passed under the shade of some
rocks surmounted by a Buddhist temple, and crossed
a considerable stream near its junction with the
We felt the coolness of the approaching morn-
ing become more chilly immediately before and at
the time of sunrise ; and the heavy fogs, common in
the mountainous parts of the interior, began to de-
scend first like mist, and then as drizzling rain:
this, however, was soon dispelled ; and
Morn, her rosy steps in the eastern clime advancing,
Sow'd the earth with Orient pearl."
We now heard at no great distance from us the
screaming of peacocks, and the call of the jungle-
but were unable to approach them in conse-
quence of the tangled thorns and thick underwood
of the forest. At the same time we discovered
that our clothes were soaked in blood from the
bites of leeches
these had either introduced them-
selves through flaws in our raiment, or, having as-
cended until they found no obstruction from dress,
had fixed themselves on our necks.
Now gentle gales,
Fanning their odoriferous wings, dispense
Native perfumes."
From the many jessamines, from the various
orange-flowers, from the citron and lime, from the
areka, from innumerable plants and flowering trees,
arose their divers perfumes ; these, blended in the
morning dew, and wafted on the early breeze,
afforded the most delicate and exquisite fragrance.
Gillemalle is situated on a gentle elevation,
round which the river flows; before it lies a rich
cultivated plain, interspersed with gigantic forest-
trees, and bounded on all sides by wooded hills,
which rise into stupendous mountains towards the
Peak. From Gillemalle, in passing along the plain,
we saw many comfortable native houses situated
in gardens amidst cocoa-nut, areka, jack,* shaddock,
plantain, and other fruit-trees ; also the talipot with
its immensely large fan-shaped leaves, and the bo-
tree, which is sacred to Gautama Buddha, and in
consequence generally to be found protected by
a stone wall. Some of these venerated trees were
The jack-tree grows to a very large size, and is not only
the most useful, but also the most beautiful of the Ceylon forest-
trees, from the great size of its spreading top, and the deep
shade of its dark-green leaves. It produces an extraordinary
quantity of fruit from its branches, its trunk, and even from its
roots. I have seen upwards of one hundred and fifty on a tree
at once. The fruit has a rough green covering, and contains
a great number of kernels about half the size of a pigeon's egg :
these, when the fruit is ripe, are contained in a luscious yellow
covering, which is too strong-tasted for Europeans ; but, before
it ripens, the kernels, when cooked, form a good vegetable, and
are very commonly the foundation of the curries used by the
labouring Cingalese. The size and weight of the fruit varies
from one to fifty pounds' weight. The wood of the jack-tree is
generally used in making furniture, and much resembles the
commonest kinds of mahogany.
surrounded by several platforms, on which were
erected little altars ; and at these the natives might
be seen offering flowers to the sylvan emblem of
the object of their devotion. At the extremity of
the plain we crossed another stream ; and imme-
diately beyond this the path becomes very steep,
and ascends through a continued forest. The great
size and regularity of form in many of the creeping
plants were amongst the first wonders which attract-
ed my notice in the Cingalese forests; and I soon
discovered that the existence, continuance, and ex-
tinction of trees in Ceylon is very different from
the parallel stages of those which grow in climates
so cold that winter renders them torpid through
half their duration. To-day a seed, to-morrow a
sapling ; then but a few years more, and the soil
and climate of Ceylon have raised it to be a tree
of great height, goodly size, and far-extending
shade: its decline once commenced is proportion-
ately hastened by the creepers that twine around its
stem, the air-plants that corrode its bark, the white
ants that mine into its vitals ; and even the heavy
rains and fierce heats that fostered its early growth
now forward its rapid decay. In Ceylon hurri-
canes are unknown, and in its far-extending forests
trees may be seen leafless and dead, yet with all
their branches, even the twigs, perfect, and appear-
ing as if they only awaited a change of season to
call them into life; yet such is their state of in-
ternal decay, that even the hand of man might
liurl to the ground those mummy monarchs of
primeval forests.
Four and a half miles from Gillemalle we
reached Palabadoolla, the last inhabited spot on
this track. It possesses a comfortable rest-house,
and a wihare (temple of Buddha) : here we saw
and examined the metal frame which is usually
placed over the Sree Pada (sacred footstep)
Adam's Peak; it was undergoing repair, and the
yellow metal of which it is composed
to correspond in value to the gems (plain and
coloured glass) with which it is profusely orna-
mented. At this place we saw a cheerful party of
respectably dressed Mohammedan pilgrims of both
sexes; they were on their way to worship at the
place of penance of the progenitor of their race,
the first of their prophets.* This civil and com-
fortable group were scowled upon from a corner
by two men, apparently ill-fed, and certainly ill-
favoured, sinister-looking persons, in the dress of
Hindus: these were also bound to the same spot
to worship a different name ; but whom it was their
religion pointed to, and had brought them so far
to honour, I had no person capable of interpreting,
nor did they seem anxious to explain.
* "
God here promises Adam that his will should be revealed
to him and his posterity ; which promise the Mohammedans
believe was fulfilled at several times by the ministry of several
prophets, from Adam himself, who was the first, to Mohammed,
who was the last. The number of books revealed unto Adam,
they say, was ten."

Note to Chapter II. Al Koran

Palabadoolla, we continued to ascend,
and often approached the edge of a precipice
whose terrors were hid by the close foliage and
thick underwood, until arriving at the rock called
: then the great depth of the val-
ley under our feet, the precipitous mountain oppo-
site, and the country through which we had passed,
burst at once upon our view. While stopping at
this place to listen to an echo, and to various fables
of the guides, we began to feel the great difference
of temperature, and perceived that the creeping
plants were gradually giving place to the mosses.
The path by which we had come did not improve
as we advanced, and was evidently more frequently
occupied as the bed of a torrent than as a highway,
so that pilgrims during the heavy rains must have
great difficulty in striving against the steep ascent
and rapid stream. At the season when the great
concourse of people make their pilgrimage (April
and May), there are generally heavy rains, which,
by causing a sudden rise in the mountain torrents,
often occasion the loss of lives ; and great hardships
are endured by many, who are detained without
food or shelter, alike unable to advance to their
destination, or to return for supplies, until the
waters subside. Immediately after our arrival at
Diabetme, which proved an uninhabited and scarcely
habitable rest-house, the clearing up of some clouds,
which had partially obscured the mountains, enabled
us to distinguish the full extent of the magnificent
scene. The yiew from this spot is unimpeded for
three-fourths of the circle, and, excepting water,
presented every variety of the grand and beautiful
in forest landscape. The prevailing tints of the
forest were the richest reds and browns of every
shade; these (where so great a proportion of the
trees are evergreen) are produced by the young
shoots and leaves, which generally appear in these
colours or exhibit the palest green. The most strik-
ing views were, on the east, Samanala, (the Peak,)
of a remarkably regular bell- shape, rising on a long
ridge of mountains ; it was about four miles dis-
tant, and the small temple on the summit was
barely visible. On the west, the sun, setting on
the level country, and nearly behind the stupen-
dous rock mountain of Uno-Dhia, was more at-
tractive to the eye than the object of our excur-
sion. In so far as awe is a component part in
sublimity of effect produced by the grandest fea-
tures of nature, the views in Ceylon are often defi-
for a general softness is diffused over its
scenes by an exuberant vegetation, which screens
the greatest cataracts, festoons the steepest rocks,
and clothes the summits of the highest mountains
with majestic forests.
Diabetme is four miles from Palabadoolla, and
nearly the same distance from the Peak : here the
fowls were killed that we might require during
our stay at the holy footstep, as no follower of
Buddha would break his first commandment and
destroy life within the hallowed precincts, which
witll to-morrow's dawn we were about to enter,
,and to which Diabetme was the nearest outpost.
Several of my followers, who had been
of master's
religion" in Colombo, openly avowed themselves
Buddhists here ; and, in honour of the place and its
memorial of their teacher, they had preserved their
best dresses to put on after purifying themselves
in a sacred stream which lay in our route. At
Diabetme the thermometer at nine o'clock p.m.
stood at
and at five o'clock a. m. next morn-
ing it was as low as
After having despatched an early breakfast, we
sent forward our servants and supplies, and then
started ; we soon came to a ravine from which
the ascent proceeds by one hundred and thirty
rude steps cut in an immense face of smooth rock.
On the left-hand side, and about half-way up,
there is the figure of a man, and an inscription cut
Cingalese characters. The figure is a wretched
attempt in outline ; and the inscription, which may
considered as modern, relates to the execution
of the work. The wild areka-tree was seen in
a few parts of the jungle through which we had
this morning passed
and the tall white stems
and graceful form of this palm produced a pleas-
ing variety in the heavy shade and sullen forest
which everywhere presented itself, and generally
limited our view to the abrupt path (sometimes
facilitated by rough ladders) which rose before
US, or the thick jungle that hemmed us in on
every side. Ill-defined as the path was, and in
some places less distinct than the elephant-tracks
which crossed it, yet it is the principal approach by
which many thousands of pilgrims annually reach
the Peak; it was the principal route even before
the earliest dates which record or tradition has pre-
served; and every remarkable stone or peculiar
bank we came to had its appropriate name, usually
connected with some wild legend of the early gods,
airy ghosts, or malignant demons of this region of
mystery and romance. Soon after ascending the
steps, we arrived at the torrent of the Seetla-
ganga (cold river) ; in which, conforming ourselves
to the example of our attendants, we bathed, and
like them dipped our heads under water three
or four times. I performed this ceremony as
quickly as possible, but suffered for several hours
severe pain in my ears, in consequence of the sud-
den chill I had received. The stream of the Seetla-
ganga precipitated itself over a ridge of rock ; and
amongst the detached masses below were various
pools, in which the natives were performing their ab-
lutions before daring to draw near to the object of
their reverence. The sides of the torrent at this place
were formed of steep rocks, with large trees whose
branches closed across the stream. Of the people
who accompanied us, some were bathing; others,
having put on their best attire, were in various posi-
tions and separate parties reclining on the rocks:
altogether I doubt if any imagination could have com-
bined a scene so wild with groups more suitable.
As we passed under the rock called Diwiya-
galla, the guides attempted to point out the marks
of a tiger s foot of gigantic proportions, to which,
as usual, a fabulous legend was attached ; but my
want of faith or imagination was so great, that
I was quite unable to figure it as the likeness of
any part of any living creature. For a mile after
we left this spot, the forest was ^o thick that we
never saw the Peak, although it rose immediately
above our path, until we reached a clear space of
ground at the base of the cone, and on the summit
of the continued ridge. Here we saw the grave
of a Mohammedan saint who probably, considered
himself fortunate in closing his pilgrimage, and rest-
ing in peace, so near the place at which the father
of mankind, and the first of Mohammedan prophets,
had been obliged to stand in penance so long and
so uncomfortably. The Mohammedans believe that
Adam, whose height was equal to a tall palm-tree,
after having been thrown down from Paradise,
which was in the seventh heaven,* alighted on this
* "
But Satan caused them to forfeit Paradise, and turned
them out of the state of happiness wherein they had been
whereupon we said, Get ye down,t the one of you an enemy
unto the other ; and there shall be a dwelling-place for you on
earth, and a provision for a season."

Al Korariy Chap. II,

t "The Mohammedans say, that, when they were cast down
from Paradise, Adam fell on the isle of Ceylon, or Serendib,
peak, and remained standing on one foot until
years of penitence and suffering had expiated his
offence and formed the footstep.
From the pilgrim's grave we could perceive our
guides carrying carpet-bags and necessary supplies,
without availing themselves, even at the steepest
places, of the assistance of the chains : this they
are enabled to do from early habit ; being without
shoes is also in their favour in this part of the
journey, particularly as the region of leeches does
not extend to so great an elevation.
Pursuing our way, the path was steep, and two
or three chains afforded assistance, which, although
useful, might have been dispensed with ; until w^e
came suddenly to a point where it was necessary to
turn to the left on the brink of a tremendous preci-
pice. My feelings at this place may have been
sublime, of which it has been asserted that terror
is one great source
they certainly were not plea-
sant : but, repressing them, and firmly grasping the
iron chains, a few minutes brought me to the sum-
mit. Accidents to those who are scaling this steep
acclivity are by no means so common as might be
expected ; this is much owing to the active intre-
pidity of the guides, by whose assistance several
and Eve near Joddah (the port of Mecca) in Arabia; and that,
after a separation of two hundred years, Adam was, on his re-
pentance, conducted by the angel Gabriel to a mountain near
Mecca, where he found and knew his wife, the mountain being
thence named Arafat ; and that he afterwards retired with her
to Ceylon, where they continued to propagate their species."

Note to Chap, II.

Sales Al Koran,
ladies have accomplished the ascent, and an aged
priest was conveyed up in a light palanquin. The
height of the Peak is seven thousand four hundred
and twenty feet above the level of the sea; and
its summit, of an elliptic form, seventy feet in
length by thirty in breadth, is surrounded by a
wall ^Ye feet high : immediately within this, a level
space of irregular breadth runs all the way round,
and the centre is occupied by the apex of the
mountain, a solid granite rock, about nine feet high
at the highest part ; on this is the Sree Pada (sacred
Probably Saman,* whose name the Peak and
mountain bear, may have a prior claim ; but the
Sree Padaf
is now held by the Buddhists as a
memorial of Gautama Buddha, by the Moham-
medans it is claimed for Adam,j: and the Ma-
labars and other Hindus assert that it was Siva
who imprinted this faint exaggeration of a footstep.
This venerated memorial is five feet seven inches
in length, two feet seven inches in breadth, and
the very slight resemblance which it has to the
shape of a foot is given by a margin of plaster
coloured to resemble the rock ; it is upon this
moulding that the metal case which we had seen
Palabadoolla is fitted, before the usual time
Thence called
Samantakuta and Samanala.
t Sacred footstep (of Buddha).
And by Mohammedans
called Baba-Aadamalei.

By Malabars called
when pilgrims are expected to arrive. A temple,
built of wood, surmounts the rock ; and is retained
in its exalted situation by many strong iron chains
fastened to the stone, and also to the trees which
grow on the steep sides of the cone. A wooden
temple, three feet in height, dedicated to Saman
a pansola (priest's house), six feet square, built of
mud (and occupied by us, the priest being absent)
one large and one small bell (the former cracked),
completed the catalogue of valuables in this sanc-
tuary of the heathen.
The view from Adam's Peak is essentially grand
in every direction are seen mountains clad in eter-
nal forests, with bare rocks and precipices of such
huge size, that even the luxuriant vegetation in
Eden of the Eastern wave" has been unable
to conceal their stern beauty. Over two of these
poured small cascades, shining like streams of light
flashes of which also attracted the eye to the course
of the Mahawelli-ganga, and several streams which
would not otherwise have been discerned. A peak,
on one side overhanging its base, rises at a short
distance to the south of Samanala, and appears
but little inferior to it in height ; it is called Deiya
Guhawa (cave of the god), and by natives its sum-
mit is believed as yet to remain unpolluted by hu-
man footsteps. A priest, confident in his sacred
character, is said to have ascended so far, that the
light was observed which he had kindled at night
beneath the overhanging summit of this haunted
mountain ; next day he returned a confirmed ma-
niac, and unable to give any account of what he
had seen. There is nothing incredible in this
story, for the dreaded mountain is apparently easier
of ascent than Samanala ; and we need not be
surprised at the melancholy fate of the priest, if
we take into consideration how strongly the mind
of a native (nurtured in the belief of demons)
would naturally be acted on when alone in an
untrodden solitude, haunted by the vague terrors
of superstition, and the just dread of savage ani-
Beyond the higher mountains a few cultivated
valleys, distant and indistinct, appeared amidst hills
gradually decreasing to the sea, which might be
distinguished melting into the humid blue haze in
which all distant objects were confounded. The
general impression of the scene was dreary ; and
this feeling is increased by the recollection that
these vast forests have in some places encroached
on cultivated districts, and even extended them-
selves over cities, temples, and tanks,
works of
vanity, devotion, and utility, scarcely exceeded in
magnitude by those of the greatest nations of an-
We descended for some distance by the Kandy
road, the only other approach to the Peak than the
one by which we had arrived
and, so far as we
saw, this path is not only free from dangerous pre-
cipices, but could scarcely be called difficult. It
would be a task of easy accomplishment to join the
Diabetme with the Kandy path before it reaches
the cone ; but I suppose increased facility of com-
munication, by diminishing the dangers, might de-
crease the merits of the pilgrimage. On several of
the rocks without the wall there are inscriptions in
different languages
those in Cingalese, which I
procured, are only records of the death or of the
pious visit of some unknown devotees. While
scrambling on the eastern side, I came by accident
upon the Bhagawa-Lenna, an overhanging rock
under which all the Buddhas are said to have re-
posed during their visits to the Peak. The moun-
tain on this side is covered with large rhododendron
trees, whose branches, extending into the sacred
N 2
there offer their superb crimson flowers
close to the shrine of Saman, their guardian god.
As soon as the fire, which we had kindled close
to the door of the priest's hut, began to sink, I was
awakened by the cold wind which whistled through
numerous holes in our
mud edifice," and was com-
pelled to resort to exercise to keep myself warm for
the remainder of the night. My vigils, however,
were amply rewarded by the varied and extraor-
dinary scenes of earth and air which I witnessed.
At first the moon, shining bright, made the features
of the nearer mountains appear distinct ; while the
deep valleys looked fathomless, from the dark sha-
dows that fell on some, and the cold grey mists that
lay in others : from these, small clouds occasionally
detached themselves and ascended, creating a chill-
ing damp for the few seconds that they hung around
the sacred pinnacle ere they slowly floated onward,
or sank again upon the mountain. A breeze then
stirred, and clouds that had hitherto lain in repose
were at once in wild commotion, passing, envelop-
ing, or pressing in tumultuous masses along the
mountains, which, overspreading, they seemed to
engulph. When these
airy billows" rolled and
heaved around the Peak, I felt as if the rock on
which I stood was sinking in the abyss; another
second overwhelmed me in a sea of vapour
All that expands the spirit, yet appals,
Gathers around these summits, as to show
How earth may pierce to heaven, yet leave vain man below.
Standing on this
landmark in the sea of time,"
every circumstance conspired to recal the native
legends,that here the spirits, from unrecorded ages
to the present, hover in clouds and darkness near
their sacred fane and native forests. The wind fell,
and morning dawned on a smooth lake of matchless
beauty, from the number of abrupt and richly
wooded islands which it contained : this, far from
being a creation of fancy, was a deception of na-
ture, and required the aid of reflection and memory
to recal the true features of the scene, and to assure
me that it was but the troubled vapour of the night
which had subsided into the calm expanse, and that
I had previously admired these islands in their true
form of rocks, woods, and mountains.
Cingalese history records that the four Buddhas
of the present era have successively visited the
Peak, and left the impression of their feet (on
which are the mystical symbols) as seals of their
successful exertions, and proofs of their superhuman
The first of these, Kakusanda, must have appeared
years B.C. He found the Peak, called
Elsewhere I have given my reasons and the authorities
from which I have derived or deduced the dates of the appear-
ance of these four Buddhas. The date of Kakusanda, B.C.
3001, and Konagamma, b.c. 2099, have not the same convin-
cing proofs as the eras of Kasyapa and Gautama; nor is it
Hkely, from the remote ages in which the two former must
have flourished, that sufficient data exist by which their eras
can now be satisfactorily ascertained.
Deiwakuta (Peak of the God), and memorials of
the Buddhas of a former era existing on its sum-
it was their example he followed, ancl their
doctrines he came to renew.
The second Buddha, Konagamma, appeared about
2099 B.C. ;
and the Peak had even then acquired
the name, which, with little variety, it has since
retained, viz. Samantakuta (Peak of Saman), pro-
bably named from Saman,* the brother and com-
panion in arms of Rama, when he conquered
Lanka (Ceylon) : this, according to a Cingalese ac-
count, happened 2386 B.C.
The third Buddha, Kasyapa, followed at an in-
terval of 1100 years, or about 1014 B.C.
The fourth and last Buddha, Gautama, having
arrived at Kellania from the continent of India,
passed on to the Peak, rested in Bhagawa-Lenna, and
from thence proceeded to Digg^nakhya, 577 B.C.
The Buddhas appear to have selected for their
worship situations pleasing by their beauty or re-
markable for natural grandeur. On Samanala's
Peak we feel the reason, and must admire the
policy of that choice ; for who could stand on this
throne of clouds,
overlooking the fairest portion of
the earth, and fail to acknowledge a mysterious and
beneficent power ? The most permanent and splen-
did temple that mortal ever raised can be over-
thrown by man, may fall by accident, and must
yield to age ; it cannot, therefore, inspire those
Called in the Ramayan, and by Hindus, Lakshman.
overwhelming sensations of space and time which
we associate with this eternal altar of an Almighty
The visits of several Kings of Ceylon, their pom-
pous processions and various offerings, fill up the
history of Samanala in more modern times.
The thermometer during our stay on the Peak
was never below
and at this point it only re-
mained for a very few minutes immediately before
and at the time of sunrise. At seven o'clock a. m.
we commenced our descent, and I now remarked
that the chains, all of which rest upon and lie
along the rock, are only attached to it at their
upper ends ; and this accounted for the circumstance
which I had heard, that, twelve years before our
visit, several natives were blown over the precipice,
and yet continued clinging to one of the chains,
during a heavy gust of wind ; but in such a situa-
tion no assistance could be rendered, and they all
perished. Dr. Davy mentions being informed that,
only a fortnight before his visit to the Peak, (in
two natives looking down the pre-
became giddy and frightened, fell, and
were dashed to pieces." These chains are in ge-
neral of very clumsy workmanship, and with links
of many different sizes ; on some, inscriptions may
be found, stating who had placed or repaired them
(which few will stop to read) : but, no doubt, those
who made and fixed these chains deserve the gra-
titude of pilgrims, and merit the favour of their
yet those few who pass this way, and prefer
walking to crawling, cannot forgive them for not
raising the chains from the ground, so that they
might be used as a rail ; and the catastrophe above-
mentioned shows how much these offerings would
have been enhanced in utility by fastening each
chain at both ends to the rock.
At eight A. M. after a fatiguing walk of twenty
miles, and a descent of more than seven thousand
feet, I returned to my comfortable quarters at the
collector's house ; and there heard from T&r. Tur-
nour with surprise, that, notwithstanding the asser-
tions of English writers to the contrary, there ex-
isted very ancient and connected native histories
of Ceylon; that he had himself so far verified their
accounts of extensive cities of the olden time by
visiting the vast remains of the most ancient capital,
Anuradhapoora. He also informed me that several
places of note mentioned in their histories were
as yet unknown or unnoticed by Europeans
these I determined, if possible, to discover, and
my notes of future excursions will show with what
From Ratnapoora we returned to Colombo by
descending the Kalu-ganga to Caltura in a boat of
the same construction as that in which I had
vainly attempted to ascend the Kellania-ganga on
my way to Hangwelle ; but I now found a great
difference in the accommodation, for this boat was
new and clean, and we had the stream in our favour.
Two miles below Ratnapoora we passed the prin-
cipal temple of Saman, who may be considered the
tutelar deity of this portion of the island ; and in
the sanctum of this building is contained what is
called by courtesy the golden bow and arrow of
the god. The figure of Saman is always painted
yellow ; he is the same as Lackshman (the brother
of Rama), and is said in Cingalese traditions to have
retained the sovereignty of the western and south-
ern parts of Ceylon after the death of Rawena, and
to have greatly improved the laws. From him the
Peak has received its name, and to him is dedicated
a grove of scarlet rhododendron trees, which forms
the gorgeous mantle from the rocky summit to
the eastern base of Samanala. The accounts of
Saman seem to be involved in more than common
obscurity and confusion, arising from a convert
and follower of Buddha bearing the same name.
This disciple of Gautama appears to have retired
to the Peak, and from thence impressed on the
multitude the precepts of wisdom by the power of
When staying at Ratnapoora, I had visited this
temple of Saman ; and found nothing there to at-
tract attention except the situation, the large bo-
trees, and the pair of elephant's tusks which graced
the entrance. The earliest mention I have seen
made of the Saffragam temple of Saman (which is
either this or the one on the Peak) is, that in the
reign of Dappoola, a.d. 795, a statue of Rama-
Chandra,* formed of red sandal-wood, was sent from
Dondera to be placed in the temple of Saman at
The Kalu-ganga, although without any bold
scenery, presents numberless pretty river-scenes,
with rugged banks, wooded hills, rocks, and rapids.
In the over-hanging trees we saw troops of mon-
keys and a few pea-fowls, and on the banks of the
river some very large kobberagoyas : these are a
species of lizard, which are prettily marked, indo-
lent, harmless except to fowls, and sometimes they
attain to a great size. I killed one seven feet in
length. In the district of Saffragam, the kala-
mander-tree was, until about this time, to be found
in considerable quantities ; but, from the beauty of
the wood, and the consequent demand for furni-
ture made of it, it has now become almost extinct,
and a large tree is never met with. There are
great varieties of wood in Ceylon,I have seen
one hundred and seventy specimens ; but kalaman-
der, with its alternate shades of black and light-
brown, is much the prettiest.
Within fourteen hours after we went into the
boat at Ratnapoora, we landed at Caltura, where
palanquins were in waiting, and in them
proceeded to Colombo by a flat monotonous
road which passes through a continued forest of
cocoa-nut trees.
An incarnation of Vishnu.
Long have thy tributary hills around
With labor'd art and vivid culture glowed,
As up their sides the rising terrace wound,
And o'er their surface genial currents flowed
Then, when the sun his ripening beams display'd,
Of many dazzling rays a gorgeous train,
Their fruitful slopes in blooming grace arrayed,
Shone a wide amphitheatre of golden grain.
Hon. W. Granville.
Road to Kurunaigalla,

Flowering Forest-trees.


King Sirisangabo.

Terraced Rice-Jields.



Ruins at Kurunaigalla
a Capital oj
the Island.


Cane Bridge,

Native Attendants

their Habits

their Character.

Ancient Stone Bridges.

Great Stones riven

the Rock by Wedges

shaped by


Customs in that

Arrival at the ancient and long-abandoned Capital

In March 1828, I set out for Kurunaigalla,
the intention of examining its remains of former
days, then of proceeding to the ancient capital of
Anuradhapoora, and from thence to the pearl fishery
of Manar.
Again I enjoyed the delightful change of scenery
which presents itself in passing from the maritime
provinces near Colombo, into the Kandian country.
There the imbul
and murata
trees, covered with
scarlet and pink flowers, or the blaze of white
blossoms on the nagahaij: trees, form a beautiful
variety to the heavy green of continuous forests
and cocoa-nut trees are only seen in plume-like
tufts near villages, of which they are the valuable
ornament and certain index. At the Hattanagalla-
oya,^ the road approaches one of the low ranges
of hills which diverge in all directions from the
mountainous centre of the island ; and four miles
off to the right is situated the rock of Hattanagalla,
surmounted by religious buildings. The principal
of these were erected about a.d. 248 by Goloo
Abhaa, to the memory of the King Sirisangabo,
who had abandoned his throne, and retired in dis-
guise to this place, where he was killed by a pea-
sant in order to obtain the reward offered for the
head of the King by his successful competitor for
the throne. Sirisangabo appears to have been a
weak monarch, but is lauded as a worthy Buddhist,
and munificent patron of the priesthood ; and his
successor, Goloo Abhaa, in his attempts to eon-
Imbul, thorny cotton-tree.
t Murata, lagerstroemia reginae.
Nagaha, iron-wood tree.

Oya, small river.
ciliate that body, erected a dagoba
and endowed
near the spot where the victim of his am-
bition was slain. A Cingalese history, of the build-
ings on this rock details the merits of the devout
Sirisangabo, the wonders worked at his tomb, the
offerings made to the priests, and the royal grants
individual gifts bestowed on the establishment
It appears, by an inscription recorded about the
year a.d. 262 on the rock of Mehintalai, that King
Sirisangabo was son of the Prince Abhaha-Sala-
Mewan and the Princess Dewoogon, both of whom
were of the royal race (which in this inscription
is called the Cshettrya race of the dynasty of
From Tumour's remarks on Cingalese inscrip-
tions, I find that three princes "repaired to the court
of the reigning sovereign, Wija-Indoo, in a.d. 241.
They were received into favour, and appointed to
the highest offices of the state ; of which they
availed themselves, in the course of a few months,
to conspire against their benefactor, and to put
him to death. One of these princes, Sangatissa,
ascended the throne, and retained the other two,
Sirisangabo and Goloo Abhaa, in their high stations.
Sangatissa was carried off within four years by
poison, which was secretly administered to him in
a jambo-fruit by the inhabitants of the western
Dagoba, a monument enclosing a relic of Buddha.
t Wihare, a temple of Buddha.
villages, to which the King was in the habit of
making excursions, when he probably subjected
these people to the extortions inseparable from the
royal progresses of the olden times. Sirisangabo
succeeded him in a.d. 246, who was a rigid devotee,
and had taken the vows of the order
the ordinances of which, together with the ob-
servance of many rules of devotion and acts of
self-denial, totally prohibited the destruction of
animal life. It may readily be conceived that the
feebleness of a government administered by so
bigoted an enthusiast soon led to anarchy. Crimes
of the greatest enormity, committed with impunity,
rapidly increased in all parts of the kingdom.
When the malefactors were brought to the prison
of the capital, as the King's vows precluded the
possibility of their being executed, they were se-
cretly released at night after condemnation, and
the corpses furnished by the usual casualties of
a populous city were exhibited at the place of
execution, on gibbets and impaling poles, as the
victims of the violated laws. By these means,
says the Buddhist historian, a pious King suc-
cessfully repressed crime, and yet gave the criminal
time and opportunity to reform. The result, how-
ever, as might have been expected, was precisely
the reverse of that representation. The whole
frame of society was
disorganised ; and a famine,
with its usual concomitant, a pestilence, combining
with these public disorders, Goloo Abhaa, who
then held the office of treasurer, easily wrested the
sceptre from the weak hands which then swayed
it. Sirisangabo offered no resistance. He privately
left the city, taking with him nothing but his
'pirankada' (water-strainer), which is used by de-
votees to prevent the destruction of the lives of
the animalculae which they would otherwise im-
perceptibly swallow in drinking unstrained water,
and met his fate while wandering as a hermit at
this rock of Hattanagalla."
The streams, as you proceed into the Kandian
country, move more briskly ; the clearness of their
waters, and the noise of their ripples, being in strong
contrast with the sluggish progress of the rivers,
whose greasy waters creep through the level districts
saturated with slime and mud from the rice-fields.
Not only the lower part of the irrigated valleys,
but also the sides of every rivulet as it descends
from the hills, however steep they may be, are
formed into terraces; and, when these are culti-
vated, the brilliant green of the rice crops serves
to diversify the general olive tint of Kandian land-
scape. The watch-huts, from whence the natives
protect their fields, are often highly picturesque
particularly when perched on overhanging crags,
or amongst the branches of some huge forest-tree,
from which the watchmen can command a view
of any intruding
elephant, and to which they can
flee if their
discordant yells and lighted brands
prove insufficient
to repel their powerful enemy,
or, as sometimes happens, should only tend to pro-
voke his attack.
Having diverged from the great Kandy road at
Ambapusse, I crossed the Maha-oya at the Ferry
of Allow, a beautiful spot on the side of a clear
rapid river, but, like most such places in the im-
mediate vicinity of running water in the interior
of the island, it has a capricious and occasionally
a pestilential climate. From Ambapusse, which
is thirty-six miles from Colombo, to Allow, five
miles farther, I was obliged to be on the alert,
as a herd of elephants had been patrolling the
road, and had damaged some of the temporary
bridges ; but, as it was still early when I passed,
they had not left the shade of the jungle, to which
elephants generally retire as soon as the sun be-
comes powerful. This piece of road, although much
frequented, and having carts continually passing
and repassing, also pioneers at work improving
the bridges, was for years after this infested with
elephants. Passing a large Government granary
at Hondelle, eight miles farther brought me
to Kurunaigalla, fifty-eight miles from Colombo.
Kurunaigalla is situated near the base of a rocky
mountain, about six hundred feet in height, called
Aetagalla,* from its striking resemblance to a
tusk elephant; this is the last of a range which
is named from the likeness of different portions
of it to various animals,

beginning at Andagalla
Acta, tusk elephant.
(eel rock), Ibhagalla (tortoise rock), Kurunaikigalla
(elephant leader rock), and Aetagalla (tusk elephant
rock), where the range abruptly terminates. Near
to where the agent of Government's house is now
placed, the palace of the Kings of Ceylon formerly
stood ; and from thence a path, with occasional stone
steps, leads up the rock to the top of the moun-
tain, and passes by a dagoba and wihare, in which
is modelled the footstep of Buddha, copied from
that on Adam's Peak, Samanala. Still farther on,
we found the remains of a wall, built across a hol-
low, and protecting a path, which was the only
other approach to the summit, except the one from
the lower palace. Near this place are some small
stone pillars, and a pond in the rock, partly natural,
but improved by steps of masonry descending to
the water. On the bare rock above are the re-
mains of buildings, which must have been intended
to contain either penitents or prisoners ; for nothing
less than fanaticism or compulsion could have
furnished tenants to houses situated where the rock
gets so heated during the day that its proper tem-
perature is not regained until long after sunset,
and is then succeeded by chill blasts, or damp ex-
halations from the flat country beneath. On the
very summit are the remains of the building which
contained the Dalada
relic during the reigns of
four pious and powerless Kings who held their
The Dalada, tooth of Buddha ; a relic esteemed by Kan-
dians as the palladium of the country.
court at Kurunaigalla, in Pali history called Hasti-
saila-poora; it was the first of these four, Bhu-
waneka Bahoo the Second, who removed the Dalada
to this place from the more ancient capital of Pol-
annanna a.d. 1319.
From the time that Kurunaigalla became
capital, and even for hundreds of years after it was
abandoned, the rocks of Aetagalla and Andagalla
were used in royal grants as symbols of duration
So long as the sun and moon, so long as
Aetagalla and Andagalla endure, this grant is made
and, should any one violate the injunctions contained
in this perpetual edict, he will be born as a dog or
a crow."
These dreaded forms of transmigration
seem to have been a common threat or anathema
denounced against those who should disturb gran-
tees in their gifted rights. To one patent, sculp-
tured in stone in the deserted city of Pollannarua,
prefixed the figure of a man standing between
these two abhorred and carrion-eating animals.
There is a tradition preserved in this part of the
country, that a natural son of one of these Kings suc-
ceeded in seizing the throne, and for some time
made himself popular; but afterwards, having of-
fended the priesthood, they assembled on the sum-
mit of the rock to celebrate a religious ceremony,
and invited the King to honour it with his pre-
sence. On his arrival, assassins, who lay in wait,
rushed on the usurper and hurled him headlong
from the precipice. Casi Chitty, in his Ceylon
Gazetteer, says the usurper's name was Vasthimi,
that he was the son of a Mohammedan woman, and
that he had offended the Buddhist priesthood by
showing a predilection for the faith of his mother,
Vasthimi Kumaraya.
From the ruins on the summit of Aetagalla the
Peak of Samanala is visible, and to it our atten-
tion was attracted by the priest who had accom-
panied us, and who, after repeating some religious
exercises, concluded his devotions by first kneeling
and then prostrating himself with his eyes still fixed
on the sacred mountain. He informed us that the
imitation of the impression of Buddha's foot in his
temple had been modelled at the time Kurunai-
galla was a royal residence, that a princess, who
was unable to undertake a pilgrimage to the real
Sree Pada, might here make offerings to a copy.
In the neighbourhood of Kurunaigalla I found
sculptures of elephants, lions, and an animal re-
sembling the heraldic unicorn, having the legs and
body of a horse, and a horn shaped like the tusk
of an elephant. If the unicorn (called Kanga-
wena by the Cingalese) ever existed, it is extraor-
dinary that no remains of it should have been dis-
covered; if it never did exist, the general belief
of such an animal, and the near identity of its form
in the sculpture and description of different coun-
tries, is equally unaccountable, for the light figure
of a unicorn could never have been derived from
the clumsy carcass of a rhinoceros.
From Kurunaigalla I went six miles upon the
Trinkomalee road to see a native suspension-bridge
over the Dederoo-oya. It was formed of the ma-
hawai-waela, (cable-rattan,) which is occasionally
found three hundred yards in length, and with
little difference in thickness at any part : this cir-
cumstance, combined with its light weight and ex-
treme toughness, renders it particularly well adapted
for the purpose to which it was here applied. A
suspension-bridge of this construction is commenced
by fixing a cane round two large trees growing on
opposite sides of the river, the diameter of their
stems determining the breadth of the bridge : when
a sufficient number of canes have been fixed in
this way, small slips of the same material are placed
across to complete the roadway. A cane is then
tied at the proper height to form the hand-rails,
which are united to the bridge by small sticks that
form a mutual support, and retain the rails in their
proper position. The work is then completed by
fastenings let down from all the branches which
project in the direction of the bridge across the
river ; for by this means the vibration is diminished,
and the strength rendered sufficient. From the
length of this bridge, and its height above a rapid
stream and rocky channel, it formed a pleasing ob-
ject to those who were not under the necessity of
trusting themselves on such an aerial structure. The
approach to this bridge (which, as may be supposed
from its construction, was only for foot-passengers)
suited well with its position and materials ; being
by ladders tied together in the same way as the
rest of the work, viz. with jungle creeping-plants,
which are everywhere to be found in abundance,
and supply the places of both rope and nails in
Kandian edifices.
The arrangements for building sheds for ourselves,
horses, and followers, in the jungle, having been
completed by orders from Mr. C
the agent of
Government in the district, (with whom we tra-
velled,) we started at day-break on our way to the
ancient capital of Anurddhapoora, and had not
proceeded a mile when the tom-toms disturbed a
large elephant that had been luxuriating during the
night in a rice-field. Kurunaigalla is one of those
places which lie in the track of elephants in pass-
ing across the country, and, although no obvious
reason can be seen to justify their preference of
this particular line, yet they continue to adhere to
it with uncommon perseverance: the formation of
seven or eight roads converging at this place, which
owes its existence of late years to the military sta-
tion and head-quarters of the revenue and judicial
offices of the district being established here, is in-
sufficient to induce the elephants to abandon their
former route, and they continue to pass through
this large village, to the great annoyance of its in-
habitants. Their pertinacity does not abate, al-
though their numbers have considerably diminished
for the late agent, Mr. B
(who had only been
promoted a few months before,) as well as some of
his predecessors, was a keen and successful elephant-
shot. He had killed nine in one forenoon, which
was the greatest number at this time known to
have been bagged in one day by a single sportsman.
From Kurunaigalla to Anuradhapoora our route
lay nearly north, and the foot-path on which we
travelled was either through rice fields or over
gentle elevations covered with brushwood. This
continued during the first day's journey ; but, as we
advanced, the country became more level, fewer
villages were seen, and less cultivation, with more
extensive jungles, marked the difference between
that part of the country which has a constant sup-
ply of river water, and the more northern districts,
which depend upon rain to fill the tanks and irri-
gate the fields. The distance to Anuradhapoora,
although only eighty miles, occupied us three days
this slow progress was in consequence of the number
of persons who accompanied us, to carry our supplies
and their own when we should pass on beyond the
cultivated and inhabited portion of the district.
We slept at Koombakalawia, Madawatchy, and
Neelicolom ; and rested during the heat of the days
at Hierapitia, Kattapittia-weva, and Epauella. The
rock of Ununugalla, near Hierapitia, Yakdessagalla
(which is seen from Kurunaigalla), and Galgiria-
kande were the most prominent features on those
ridges of hills, which gradually descend into the
plains and jungles which surround the ancient
capital of the island. Near Koombakalawia are
situated the remains of Yapahoo, which was for
some time the residence of a branch of the Cin-
galese royal race, one of whom succeeded to the
throne a.d. 1303, and made this place the capital;
but it only remained so for eleven years, when it
was taken possession of by an army sent by the
King of Pandi (Madura), which destroyed the town
and carried off the Dalada relic.
Our native attendants, even those who had been
carrying baggage during the whole day, seemed
little inclined to sleep at night ; and never retired
while any of the tom-tom beaters or singers who
accompanied the agent's party were exercising their
uncouth instruments or croaking voices. That a
singer amongst Kandians did not require a musical
voice I soon discovered, and found that this, as well as
all other occupations amongst them, was hereditary
that the son of a singer must of necessity sing ; as
the son of a dancer, however deficient in agility,
was still condemned to caper to the sound of tom-
toms. As a consequence of this absurd system, the
most gaunt and awkward Kandian I ever saw
hobbled as chief dancer, in honour of the Dalada
(Buddha's tooth), on a pair of legs scarcely more
pliable, and very little thicker, than ordinary
crutches. It was not uncommon for two of the
professional singers to commence and maintain a
dialogue, which they continued to invent and pour
out in a sort of recitative monotony: during this
performance they practised such wit as they pos-
sessed, levelled at all those whom they disliked and
dared to lampoon ; they also made frequent allu-
sions to public grievances, as well as to the private
and current scandal of the district. Any sly hit
against Raja Karia (King's duties, compulsory la-
bour) was sure to be received with unusual satis-
faction, although at this period the people never
dreamt of seeing it abolished,still less could they
have anticipated that within five years they were
to be entirely emancipated from Raja Karia, and
every restriction that cheeked their prosperity, hin-
dered their improvement, or prevented them from
indulging a proper ambition.
Every native carried the sheath of an areka-nut
flower, a light tough substance, which served them
for a plate on which to pile their rice ; they had,
also, a manner of folding it up in the form of a
square vessel, and in this shape it served to carry
water in those stages where it was scarce or un-
Besides those who carried our baggage, and the
usual allowance of grass-cutters, horse-keepers, and
servants, a great number of official persons of all
ranks, and their followers, were in attendance upon
the agent; and my observations upon them only
more confirmed my opinion of the acuteness as
well as the veracity of Robert Knox, although it is
upwards of one hundred and fifty years since he
published his account of the Kandians. During his
long captivity and unrestricted commerce with them
he enjoyed the best opportunities of forming a
deliberate opinion of their character. Such as he
described them in 1680, they were found to
be in 1815, when the last of their despot Kings
was driven from the throne ; and such, with little
alteration, they continued until made free by the
charter of 1833. Knox says,
In carriage and
behaviour they are very grave and stately, like unto
the Portugals; in understanding quick and appre-
in design subtle and crafty ; in discourse
courteous, but full of flatteries ; naturally inclined
to temperance, both in meat and drink, but not to
; near and provident in their families, com-
mending good husbandry; in their dispositions not
passionate, neither hard to be reconciled again when
angry ;
in their promises very unfaithful, approving
lying in themselves, but misliking it in others ; de-
lighting in sloth, deferring labour until urgent ne-
cessity constrain them
neat in apparel, nice in
eating, and not given to much sleep."
The streams we crossed on our way from Kurun-
aigalla were the Dederoo-oya, Kimboola-oya, Mee-
oya, and Kalawia-oya: near the place where we
crossed the latter river we discovered and examined
the remains of an ancient stone bridge, consisting
of a pier of considerable length projecting into and
contracting the stream, which was both broad and
rapid. The stones used in constructing this pier
vary from eight to fourteen feet in length ; they
are laid in regular lines, and some are jointed into
one another : each course also recedes a few inches
from the edge of the one underneath ; and this
form, while it offers less direct resistance to the
current, gives additional strength to the building.
In the rocks which form the bed of the river
we could distinguish square holes, in which stone
pillars had been placed ; and the bridge had been
completed by laying long stones or beams of wood
on these so as to connect the different parts of the
structure, which, there is reason to believe, was
built by the King Mahasen, and that the rapid river
has fretted and plunged against this artificial bar-
rier for full fifteen hundred years. At a short dis-
tance farther down the stream, the site of another
bridge can be traced, which appears to have been
constructed on the same plan, but either at an
earlier period, or of less durable materials. At
these ruins I first remarked that the large stones
had been riven from the adjacent rocks by means
of wedges, and that any farther shaping or orna-
ment had been done by chisels. On my arrival at
Anuradhapoora, this manner of working quarries
and splitting stones was everywhere observable, and
satisfied me that the natives of Ceylon, two thou-
sand years ago, used those expedients for procuring
large granite pillars, and shaping their ornaments,
which have only been introduced into Britain in
the nineteenth century. In conformity with the
wild tradition of the natives, that the King Ma-
hasen could compel even the demons to work for
him, and that this bridge is a specimen of their
masonry, the ruins here are known by the name of
Yakka-Bendi-palam (bridge built by devils). A
stone was pointed out to us (in the upper row), on
the under side of which it is said the figure of the
architect is cut.
Here, as in several other parts of the country, we
saw myriads of butterflies passing in a continued
stream in the same direction. I have observed
these flights to continue for days together in dif-
ferent parts of the country, and that it sometimes
consisted of various-coloured butterflies, but gene-
rally proceeding in a direction towards the centre
of the island. The natives believe that their des-
tination is Adam's Peak, and from this circum-
stance I presume it is that the Cingalese name for a
butterfly is derived, viz. Samanaliya.
Having crossed the Kalawa-oya, we entered the
Nuwara-Kalawia district, and perceived a marked
difference in the customs, manners, and appearance
of the inhabitants, who were taller, and with more
regular features, but neither so healthy-looking nor
so robust as those of the mountainous districts.
Instead of the usual dress of Kandians, viz. a co-
loured handkerchief bound round the head, they
wore a peculiar sort of turban, fastened so that
in the middle and on the top of the head a
peak projected upwards somewhat resembling the
crest of a helmet. In entering the house prepared
for our reception we had to pass between two ele-
gantly formed earthenware lamps, about three feet
high ; these were ornamented with cocoa-nut flow-
ers, and were burning, although it was mid-day.
As we were stepping across the threshold a cocoa-
nut was broken ; and this completed the ceremony
of receiving us, and dismissing evil spirits from
temporary abode.
After crossing the Kalawia-oya there was little
worthy of observation until we reached the arti-
ficial lake called Tissa-weva, and perceived on the
opposite side, and rising far above the ancient forest
by which they were surrounded, Buddhist monu-
ments, like hills covered with wood, and sur-
mounted by the remains of spires. As we pro-
ceeded on our way, the scattered materials
ancient buildings, and numberless stone pillars, as-
sured us that we had arrived within the limits of
the ancient capital of Ceylon, Anuradhapoora.
Remnants of things that have passed away,
Fragments of stone reared by creatures of clay Byron.
Founded B.C. 500.
Gautama Buddha Walls
the City.

Its Extent 256 square


Known to Ptolemy.

Knox visits it in 1679.

Knox Court
the Sacred Tree.

The Brazen
Sixteen Hundred Stone Pillars.

Kandian Punc-
the Royal Funeral-piles
Ancient Kings.

Chewing Betel.


Monumental Tombs
Buddha s Relics.


King Dootoogai-
moonoos Death.


Glass Pinnacle on a
Glass known in Ceylon as a Protection against
Lightning prior to a.d. 246.


Beautiful Columns.

giri built B.C. 76.

Its Height then AOb



its Dome
456*071 cubic yards

Ancient Native Families.

the Palace.

King Elloona.

King Elala.

Curious In-
junction regarding his Tomb.

Pilame Taldwe.




Stone Vessel.

Ancient Native

Prince Sali.

Former Popu-

Second Visit to Anurddhapoora.


Native seized by a Crocodile.

Scene at Nuwarawewa.


Forest-covered City.
In ages of impenetrable antiquity, the plain on
which Anurddhapoora was afterwards built had ae-
quired a sacred character; for it is recorded, that,
when the first ' Buddha of the present era visited
this place, he found it already hallowed as a scene
of the ancient religious rites of preceding genera-
tions, and consecrated by Buddhas of a former
era. The position of Anuradhapoora has nothing
to recommend it for the capital of Ceylon ; and the
site, if not chosen from caprice, was probably dic-
tated by superstition. It would not, therefore, be
difficult to account for its final desertion, conse-
quent decay, and present desolation, even if history
had not preserved a record of the feuds, famines,
wars, and pestilence, which at various times op-
pressed the country, and reduced the number of in-
habitants so as to render the remainder incapable
of maintaining the great embankments of their
artificial lakes. These having burst, their waters
spread over the country as their channels were
neglected, and this made its unhealthiness perma-
nent by forming noxious swamps and nourishmg
unwholesome forests. The warm and damp nature
of the Ceylon climate excites an activity of vege-
tation, which the indolence and apathy of the
native character are not calculated to struggle
against ; and the present population is inadequate
either in number or energy to do more than resist
the incessant effort of the vegetable kingdom, stimu-
lated by an eternal spring, to extend its beautiful
but baneful luxuriance over that portion of the
surrounding districts which man still retains in
precarious subjection.* Anuradliapoora is first men-
tioned by that name about live hundred years be-
fore Christ; it was then a village, and the resi-
dence of a prince who took the name of Anuradha
on his settling at this place, which the King Pan-
duwasa had assigned to him when he came to visit
his sister the Queen Bhadda-kachana. They were
grandchildren of Amitodama, the paternal uncle
of Gautama Buddha. It was chosen for the ca-
pital by the King Padukabhya, B.C. 437
and in
the reign of Dewenipiatissa, which commenced B.C.
it received the collar-bone of Gautama Buddha,
his begging-dish filled with relics, and a branch of
the bo-tree under which he had reclined. Anurad-
liapoora had been sanctified by the presence of
former Buddhas, and these memorials of Gautama
increased its sacred character
additional relics
were subsequently brought, for which temples were
reared by successive sovereigns ; and Wahapp, who
commenced his reign a.d. 62, finished the walls of
the city, which were sixty-four miles in extent, each
side being sixteen miles, and thus enclosed a space
Six years after the time of which I am now writing, Go-
vernment formed a road to Aripo, and established an European
officer at Anuradhapoora as revenue and judicial agent for the
district, in order, if possible, to hasten the deyelopement of its
resources. When I left the island it was considered an un-
healthy station, but, by perseverance, there is little doubt that
it will improve. Had this district been formerly unhealthy,
Anuradhapoora would not so long have remained the capital
of the island.
of two hundred and fifty-six square miles. Anurad-
hapoora is mentioned, or rather is laid down in
the map of Ptolemy in its proper position, and by
the name of Anurogrammum.*
For upwards of twelve hundred years Anuradha-
poora remained as the capital of the island, with
the exception of one reign, when a parricide and
usurper transferred the insignia of royalty to the
impregnable rock-fort of Sigiri. In the eighth
century Polannarua was chosen as the capital in
preference to Anuradhapoora ; at which place the
fame of wealth had survived its possession, and
too often attracted the spoiler. The religious edi-
fices were occasionally repaired by pious sovereigns
until the time of Magha, a successful invader, who
held sway in Ceylon from a.d. 1219 until 1240;
during which time he completed the destruction
of many temples, and endeavoured to destroy the
Cingalese records.
Knox, speaking of Anuradhapoora, which he
passed in making his escape from captivity in a.d.
1679, says,
It is become a place of solemn wor-
ship, in consequence of the bo-tree under which
Buddha sat." He adds, "They report ninety
have reigned there successively, where, by the ruins
Grama, or Gramya, is used for a town ; so also is Poora,
but the latter generally means city.
It is the general belief of uneducated natives that the
name of the city is derived from Anu-Rajah (ninety Kings)
but it was from the name of the constellation Anuradha, under
which it was founded.
that still remain, it appears they spared not for
pains and labour to build temples and high monu-
ments to the honour of this god, as if they had been
bom only to hew rocks and great stones, and lay
them up in heaps : these Kings are now happy
spirits, having merited it by these their labours."
In making his escape along the bed of the Mal-
watte-oya,* Knox passed another part of the ruins,
but does not seem to have been aware that they
were part of Anuradhapoora. He says,
Here and
there, by the side of this river, is a world of hewn
stone pillars, and other heaps of hewn stones, which
I suppose formerly were buildings
and in three
or four places are the ruins of bridges built of
stone, some remains of them yet standing upon
stone pillars."
The above extracts are taken from
An His-
torical Relation of the Island of Ceylon in the East
Indies, by Robert Knox, a captive there for nearly
twenty years." This is a work of great interest,
and was originally published in London in 1681.
Nothing can be more admirable than the extent
of memoiy, acute observation, and inflexible ve-
racity exhibited in his account of the country and
nor can anything be more interesting than
the simple narrative of his own sufferings. His
perseverance, fortitude, and firm religious belief
enabled him to overcome misfortunes, to rescue
himself from a tedious captivity, and finally to
Malwatte-oya, flower-garden river. .
, 211
regain his station as commander of a ship under
the East India Company.
The father of Robert Knox was also named
Robert : he commanded the Ann frigate in the
service of the East India Company, and sailed on
the 21st of January 1657 from the Downs ; the
vessel was dismasted in a storm on the Coromandel
coast on the 19th of November 1659, and pro-
ceeded to the bay of Cotiar (opposite to Trinko-
malee) to refit, and with permission to trade there.
For about twenty days the crew of the ship were
allowed to land and return without any inter-
but, after that, a native chief, by order
of the Kandian King, contrived by falsehood and
treachery to seize the captain and seven of his
men; then, by the same devices, he got hold of
another boat and her crew of eleven men. He
next attempted to gain possession of the ship, by
inducing the captain to send an order to the officer
on board, directing him to bring the vessel up the
river ; the captain sent his own son, but it was
to warn the officer, and direct him to proceed with-
out loss of time to Porto Novo. Young Knox,
however, returned to share his father's captivity
and the whole of those taken prisoners were re-
moved into the interior of the country. The cap-
tain and his son (Robert) were sent to the village
of Bandar Koswatte, and there were soon attacked
by severe fever and ague, which carried off the
father, February the 9th, 1661. Young Knox was
p 2
then very ill, and it was not without much difficulty
that he managed to get his father's body buried
and for many months he suffered severely from the
effects of the same disease. It was not long after
the loss of his father that he accidentally had an
opportunity of purchasing an English Bible at a
price sufficiently moderate for his means. Never
for a moment laying aside his design of escape,
yet behaving with such discretion as never to incur
suspicion from the jealous tyrant who then ruled
in Kandy, Knox acquired a character for prudence,
industry, and honesty, which is even yet preserved
by tradition in the neighbourhood of the place
where he resided, and where a spot is still known
as the white man's garden.* After a captivity of
nearly twenty years' duration he contrived to ac-
complish his escape, not without great danger from
the numerous wild animals and alligators that are
to be found near the course of the Malwatte-oya,
which flows through a dense forest and a country
void of population. Knox reached the Dutch fort
of Aripo on the 18th of October 1679;
having been sent to Batavia, he from thence re-
turned to England in September 1680, and was
soon after made captain of the Tarquin in the East
India Company's service.
All the ruins at Anuradhapoora, even the lofty
monuments which contain the relics of the Buddha,
are either entirely covered with jungle, or partly
Between Kandy and Garnpola.
obscured by forests ; these the imagination of na-
tives has peopled with unholy phantoms, spirits
of the unrighteous, doomed to wander near the
mouldering walls which tvere witnesses of their
guilt, and are partakers of their desolation.
Although simplicity is the most distinguishing
characteristic of the ancient architectural remains
of the Cingalese, yet some of the carving in granite
might compete with the best modern workmanship
of Europe (in the same material) both as to depth
and sharpness of cutting ; and the sculptures at
Anuradhapoora, and places built in remote ages,
are distinguished from, any attempts of modern
natives, not less by the more animated action of
the figures, than by greater correctness of pro-
The only place clear of jungle was in front of
the Maha-wihare (great temple), where a shady tree
occupied the centre of a square, and a stone pillar,
fourteen feet high, stood beside the figure of a bull
cut in granite, and revolving on a pivot. In the
entrance from this square into the Maha-wihare
are a few steps admirably carved with laborious
devices, and still in perfect preservation. Ascending
these, and passing through a mean building of mo-
dern construction, you enter an enclosure three
hundred and forty-five feet in length, by two hun-
dred and sixteen in breadth, which surrounds the
Court of the Bo-tree, designated by Buddhists as
Jaya-Sri-maha-Bodinwahawai (the great, famous, and
triumphant fig-tree).* Within the walls are per-
ceived the remains of several small temples; and
the centre is occupied by the sacred tree, and the
buildings in which it is contained or supported.
This tree is the principal object of veneration to
the numerous pilgrims who annually visit Anuradha-
they believe what their teachers assert, and
their histories record, that it is a branch of the tree
under which Gautama sat the day he became a
Buddha, and that it was sent from Patalipoora by
the King Dharmasoka, who gave it in charge to
his daughter Sanghamitta ; this priestess had been
preceded by her brother, Mihindoo, who, B.C.
was successful in re-establishing in Ceylon the
purity of the Buddhist religion.
No one of the several stems or branches of the
tree is more than two feet in diameter
and seve-
ral of the largest project through the sides of the
terraced building in which it is growing. This
structure consists of four platforms, decreasing in
size as you ascend, and giving room for a broad
walk round each of them.f
From the self-renova-
ting properties of the bo-tree, it is not at all impos-
sible that this one might possess the great antiquity
Ficus religiosa, generally called by natives Bo-gaha, bo-
tree, the name generally used by Europeans.
The spot on which the tree stands is believed to have at
former periods been the position where the emblematic trees of
former Buddhas grew, viz. Kakusanda Buddha's, the mahari
tree ; Konagamma Buddha's, the atika tree (ficus glomerata)
and Kaseyapa's, the nigrodi (baniayan).
claimed for it by the sacred guardians:* if so,
the forbearance of Malabar conquerors must be
accounted for by their considering this tree sacred
to other gods ; the profits derived from pilgrims
may also have induced them to give full weight
to the alleged partiality of Brahma for this beauti-
ful tree.
One side of the square in front of the Maha-
wihare is occupied by the ruins of the Lowa-Maha-
Paya, called also (from the materials with which
it was covered) the Brazen Palace. The remains
of this building consist of sixteen hundred stone
assert that the sacred tree at Buddha Gya in
by Dugdha-Kamini, King of Singhal-Dwipa
414 years before the birth of our Saviour."

Hamilton s E, I.
Dootoogaimoonoo, King of Ceylon, and a most
pillars placed in forty parallel lines, forty pillars
in each, and occupying a square space, each side
of which is two hundred and thirty-four feet in
length. The pillars in the middle of this ruin are
still eleven and a half feet above the ground, and
measure two feet in breadth by one foot and a
half in thickness ; the middle pillars are slightly
ornamented, but those in the outer lines are plain,
and only half their thickness, having been split
by means of wedges, the marks of which operation
they still retain. The Lowa-Maha-Paya was erected
by the King Dootoogaimoonoo B.C. 142 : its height
was two hundred and seventy feet; it contained
one thousand apartments for priests, and was co-
vered with one sheet of metal. This edifice seems
soon to have fallen into decay ; and was rebuilt
by Dootoogaimoonoo's successor, who reduced its
height, making it seven instead of nine stories,
which it was at its original formation. It under-
went many repairs, and was varied in height by
several different Kings, until a.d. 286, at which
time it was thrown down by Mahasen during the
period of his temporary apostacy : so completely
did this monarch execute his work of destruction
on this and several other religious buildings, that
zealous Buddhist, reigned from b.c. 164 until B.C. 140
and if
the tree at Gya was planted by him, as above mentioned, not
only the original one there, but also one planted by Dharma-
soka, King of India, in the fourth century before Christ, at the
same city, must have been destroyed by the votaries of an ad-
verse faith.
their sites were ploughed up and sown with grain.
Having returned to his former faith, Mahasen
commenced rebuilding the Maha-Paya, but died
before it was finished
and it was completed by
his son and successor, Kitsiri Maiwan, soon after
his accession in a.d. 302. It was then that the
original pillars were split, to supply the places of
those which had been broken. Amongst the sacred
occupants of this building, the priests most eminent
for their piety were exalted to the uppermost story,
whilst those who had fewest claims to sanctity were
lodged nearest to the earth. As native stairs only
differ in name from ladders, the ascent of nine
stories must have been a severe trial to the bodily
infirmities of the elder priests ; but one of the
strongest prejudices of the natives, and about which
they continue to be exceedingly jealous, was, not
allowing an equal or inferior to sit on any seat
or remain in any place more elevated than them-
selves. From adherence to punctilio on this sub-
ject, there was a ludicrous scene at Colombo in
1802, when the Kandian ambassadors remonstrated
against entering the carriage sent to convey them
to an audience with Governor North, because the
coachman was placed on a more elevated seat than
the one which they were to occupy. This weighty
matter was happily adjusted to their satisfaction,
and they entered the carriage
but positively refused
to allow the doors to be shut, fearing they should
appear as prisoners.
On the left of the road leading from the Maha-
wihare towards the dagoba of Ruwanwelli, and in
thick jungle, six carved stones define the limits of a
small mound. This is the spot where a grateful
people and a zealous priesthood performed the last
duties to the remains of Dootoogaimoonoo
a King
whose valour and piety had restored the supremacy
of the Cingalese race and Buddhist religion, and
who had not only repaired the injuries which the
capital had sustained from foreign invaders of an
adverse faith, but had ornamented it with many of
those buildings which even now attract attention
and excite wonder after having endured for two
thousand years.
The quantity of game in the immediate neigh-
bourhood of the ruins was astonishing, and in no
part of the island are elephants more numerous
for within the precincts of this hallowed city, at
the time I speak of, 1828, no native would have
ventured to transgress the first commandment of
the Buddha, viz. from the meanest insect up to
man, thou shalt not kill. As if aware of their
right of sanctuary, whole herds of spotted deer and
flocks of pea-fowl allowed us to approach very
near to them ; and while employed in examining
the ruins, in the presence and with the assistance
of the priests, I deemed it advisable to commit no
murder on the denizens of the forest; but on the
last day of our stay we left the gentlemen of the
long yellow robe behind, and proceeded to hunt
deer with Mr. C. 's dogs in a plain about three
miles from the place of our temporary residence.
When not employed in speaking, our followers
seemed to be eternally occupied in chewing betel, a
custom almost universal at this time w^ith all ranks
of natives ; and although the name of the leaf of a
creeping-plant resembling pepper is used as a
general term, three component parts are necessary
for this masticatory ; viz. areka-nut, which is used in
very thin slices ; fine powdered lime, made into a
paste ; and, a small portion of these two being rolled
up in a betel-leaf, the whole is put in the mouth.
This preparation tinges the saliva, the lips, and even
the teeth of a dark-red colour; but I believe it
to be perfectly wholesome, and to have some use-
ful properties, such as soothing nervous excitement,
and acting as a stimulant, without any of the evil
effects produced by the use of spirits, which never-
theless is, I am afraid, too often superseding the
use of betel. Those who could afford it, mixed up
cardamom seeds and the leaves of various aromatic
plants with the areka-nut ; and the value of the in-
struments for preparing the betel gave one a pretty
good idea of the wealth and rank of the possessor
a pair of nippers for slicing the areka-nut, a small
box for holding the lime, and a straw case to con-
tain betel leaves, might, I believe, have been found
tucked in the waist-cloth of every one of the
several hundred natives who accompanied us. Night
and day they were chewing betel, and when they
were awake they seemed to talk of notliing else
exchanging leaves and the contents of their lime-
boxes seemed like the old Scotch custom of ex-
changing snuff-mulls.
Amongst the ruins of this city, the dagobas,* or
monumental tombs of the relics of Buddha, the
mode in which they are constructed, the object for
which they are intended, above all, their magni-
tude, demand particular notice. The characteristic
form of all monumental Buddhistical buildings is
that of a bell-shaped tomb surmounted by a spire,
and is the same in all countries which have had
Buddha for their prophet, lawgiver, or god. Whe-
ther in the outline of the cumbrous mount, or
in miniature within the laboured excavation, this
peculiar shape (although variously modified) is ge-
neral, and enables us to recognise the neglected
and unhonoured shrines of Buddha in countries
where his religion no longer exists, and his very
name is unknown. The gaudy Shoemadoo of
Pegu, the elegant Toopharama of Anuradhapoora,
the more modern masonry of Boro Budor in Java,
are but varieties of the same general form ; and in
the desolate caves of Carli, as in the gaudy exca-
vations and busy scenes of Dambool, there is still
extant the sign of Buddhathe tomb of his relics.
Dagobas may be referred to the first stage of archi-
tectural adventure, although I cannot agree with
Dagoba, from Dhatu-garba (womb, or receptacle of a
Maior iforbes . deL^ W.Westall.AJtA. sculp.
/'/^^ ^M<^ 'y//yJ2y^tmiy /z/'<^J^^/^'^/^/^s4^r^y.
loD.doii;:PuMislied/byTticliard. Bentley, IS^P-
those writers who assert that the character and
form of Buddhist buildings betray evident marks
of having been borrowed from the figure of a tent
for in my opinion their progress may clearly be
traced from the humble heap of earth which covers
the ashes or urn of the dead, up to the stupendous
mount of masonry which we see piled above some
shrunken atom of mortality. These monuments in
Ceylon are built around a small cell, or hollow
stone, containing the relic ; along with which a
few ornaments and emblems of Buddhist worship
were usually deposited, such as pearls, precious
stones, and figures of Buddha : the number and
value of these depended on the importance at-
tached to the relic, or the wealth of the person who
reared the monument.
The description given in Cingalese histories of
the rich offerings and rare gems deposited with
some of the relics is very splendid, but the ex-
istence of wealth and wonders which cannot be
reached may well be doubted ; the accounts of the
external decorations and ornaments of these da-
gobas are also magnificent, and probably more cor-
rect. In a sohona, or Cingalese cemetery, may be
perceived a variety of miniature dagobas : if the
little earthen mound raised over the ashes of the
dead be encircled with a row of stones, we see the
origin of the projecting basement ; if the tomb be
that of a headman or high-priest, we may find it
cased with stone, and perhaps surrounded with a
row of pillars : on all these we find an aewaria
branch planted; which, after taking root and
shooting out its cluster of leaves, gives the sem-
blance of the spire and its spreading termination.*
In short, the monumental tombs of Buddha's relics
only differ in size, and in the durability of their
materials, from the humble heap which covers the
ashes of an obscure priest or village chief. The
tomb of Alyattes, as described by Herodotus, and
which he informs us as a monument of art was
only second to the remains in Egypt and Babylon,
appears to have been of the same form as the se-
pulchral mounds of the Buddhists. In materials
and construction the dagobas of Anuradhapoora far
exceed the tomb of Alyattes, and fully equal it in
size. All the dagobas at Anuradhapoora were
built of brick, and incrusted with a preparation
of lime, cocoa-nut water, and the glutinous juice
of a fruit which grows on a tree called by the
natives Paragaha. This preparation is of a pure
white ; it receives a polish nearly equal to marble,
and is extremely durable. The Ruwanwelli-saye,
one of these monuments of peculiar sanctity, was
built by the King Dootoogaimoonoo ; but the spire
being unfinished at the time of his death, B.C. 140,
it was completed by his brother and successor, Sai-
datissa. It stands in the centre of an elevated
square platform, which is paved with large stones of
dressed granite, each side being about five hundred
Called Kot by the Cingalese, and Tee by the Siamese.
feet in length, and surrounded by a fosse seventy
feet in breadth ; the scarp, or sides of the platform,
is sculptured to represent the fore-parts and heads
of elephants, projecting and appearing to support
the massive superstructure to which they form so
appropriate an ornament. In the embankment
surrounding the fosse, a pillar, deep sunk in the
earth, still projects sixteen feet above the surface,
and is four feet in diameter ; this stone is believed
to have been removed from the spot where the
dagoba now stands, and that it once bore an in-
scription and prophecy, which in a superstitious
age no doubt caused its own fulfilment. The pre-
diction ran, that, at the place where this stone stood,
a superb dagoba of one hundred and twenty cubits*
in height would be reared by a fortunate and pious
Dootoogaimoonoo, during his last illness, caused
himself to be conveyed near to this monument of
his piety; and, when all hopes of completing the
spire during his lifetime were at an end, his brother
had the model of it made of light timber: this
placed on the dome, and covered with cloth, satis-
fied the anxious wish of the expiring King. The
place to which Dootoogaimoonoo was conveyed
is a large granite slab surrounded with pillars
near this a stone, hollowed out in the shape of a
man's body, is shown as the bath which he used
when suffering from the bite of a venomous snake.
Carpenter's cubit, two feet three inches.
On the stone pavement which surrounds the
Ruwanwelli saye lies the broken statue of the King
Batiyatissa, who reigned from B.C. 19 until a.d.
and appears to have been one of those persevering
zealots who
hope to merit heaven by making
earth a hell:" the marks of his knees worn in the
granite pavement are pointed out as memorials of
superior piety, and certainly, if authentic, bear last-
ing testimony to the importunity of his prayers or
the sincerity of his devotions. It is recorded of
this King that by supplication he obtained divine
assistance to enable him to open the under-ground
entrance into the interior cell of this temple ; and
that he succeeded in entering and worshipping the
many relics of Buddha which it contained. In the
thirteenth century Maga, a foreign invader, instead
of faith, employed force : he broke into the sanc-
tum, plundered its treasures, pulled down the
temples around Ruwanwelli, and ruined its dagoba,
which was originally two hundred and seventy feet
in height, but is now a conical mass of bricks over-
grown with brushwood, and one hundred and
eighty-nine feet high. Sanghatissa placed a pin-
nacle of glass on the spire of Ruwanwelli, as the
author of the Mahawanso says,
to serve as a pro-
tection against lightning." Sanghatissa reigned
four years, and was poisoned in a.d. 246. The
Mahawanso was written between a.d. 459 and 477,
and shows that the non-conducting property of glass
with regard to the electric fluid had been remarked
previous to that period.
At a considerable distance from the outer en-
closure of the dagoba the priest pointed out to me
a stone slab twelve and a half feet long by nine
and a half feet broad, which is supposed to cover
the secret entrance by which the pious King, as
well as the ruthless invader, gained admittance to
the interior of the Ruwanwelli-saye. A few weeks
previously to our visit, the late high-priest, an albino,
had died at a very advanced age : he had been
long known by the appellation of the White Priest
of Anuradhapoora ; and his senior pupil, who ac-
companied me in exploring the ruins, aspired to
succeed his master. I was then along with the
agent of the district, through whose recommenda-
tion he expected to be appointed ; therefore no
spot was so sacred, and no secret so precious, but
that it might be communicated to me. The aspir-
ant became high-priest, and ever after denied to
European visitors all knowledge of the secret en-
trance to this monument, as well as several other
places of peculiar sanctity ; neither could it be
brought to his unwilling remembrance that he had
ever known them himself, or pointed them out to
any one. The history of this building, its tradi-
tions, the list of offerings made to the relics en-
shrined within it, and the splendour of its external
appearance, are recorded at length; but its chro-
nicle contains so much exaggeration in regard to
the number of the offerings, and so little variety
of events, that the specimen already given may
perhaps be considered more than sufficient, and
will be ray excuse for not dilating on the history
of other buildings, of which only similar facts are
written, and similar dull details have been pre-
Toopharamaya, although inferior to many in
size, yet far exceeds any dagoba in Ceylon,
both in elegance and unity of design, and in the
beauty of the minute sculptures on its tall, slender,
and graceful columns ; this dagoba is low, broad
at the top, and surrounded by four lines of pillars,
twenty-seven in each line, fixed in the elevated
granite platform so as to form radii of a circle of
/ /
which the monument is the centre. These pillars
are twenty-four feet in height, with square bases,
octagonal shafts, and circular capitals; the base
and shafts, fourteen inches in thickness, and twenty-
two feet in length, are each of one stone ; the
capitals are much broader than the base, and are
highly ornamented. Toopharamaya was built over
the collar-bone of Gautama, when it was brought
from Maghada in the reign of Dewenepeatissa, B.C.
307 ; and the ruins of a building which adjoins it
received the Dalada relic when it arrived in Ceylon,
A.D. 309.
Lankardmaya was erected in the reign of Maha-
sen, between a.d. 276 and a.d. 302
it is in better
preservation, but much inferior in effect to the
Toopharamaya, from which the design of the build-
ing is copied.
The Abhayagiri dagoba, built by the King Wa-
lagam Bahoo, between the period of his restoration
to the throne B.C.
88, and his death B.C. 76, was
the largest ever erected in Ceylon : it was four
hundred and five feet* in height ; and the platform
on which it stands, as well as the fosse and sur-
rounding wall, are proportionately extensive. The
height of this ruin now is two hundred and thirty
feet, and the length of the outer wall one mile and
three quarters; the whole of the building, except
a few patches near the summit, is covered with
thick jungle and high trees, even where the inter-
One hundred and eighty Cingalese carpenter's cubits.
stices of the pavement, composed of large granite
slabs, were all that yielded nourishment to the trees
or secured their roots.
The Jaitawanaramaya was commenced by the
King Mahasen, and completed by his successor,
Kitsiri Maiwan, a.d. 310 : its height was originally
three hundred and fifteen feet,* and its ruins are
still two hundred and sixty-nine feet above the
surrounding plain. A gentleman, who visited Anu-
radhapoora in 1832, calculated the cubic contents
of this temple at four hundred and fifty-six thou-
sand and seventy-one cubic yards; and remarked,
that a brick wall, twelve feet in height, two feet
in breadth, and upwards of ninety-seven miles in
length, might be constructed with the still remain-
ing materials. Even to the highest pinnacle the
Jaitawanaramaya is encompassed and overspread by
trees and brushwood; these are the most active
agents of ruin to the ancient buildings of Ceylon,
as their increasing roots and towering stems, shaken
by the wind, overturn and displace what has long
resisted, and would have slowly yielded before time
and the elements.
During our stay at Anuradhapoora, a Kandian
lady presented a petition to the agent of Govern-
ment, requesting his interference on behalf of her
son, who was detained as a state prisoner for having
been implicated in the rebellion of 1817-18. She
stated that he was her only son, and that the large
One hundred and forty carpenter's cubits.
family estates were now ravaged and laid waste by
wild animals ; that in this remote district, for want
of his superintendence, the tanks for irrigation were
neglected, and cultivation was rapidly decreasing;
moreover, that he was the hereditary guardian of
the sacred edifices of this ancient capital, and that in
his absence the buildings and temples were neither
protected nor repaired, the revenues being either
misapplied by the priests, or appropriated to their
own use. The old lady also alluded to the anti-
quity of their family, whose ancestor, she said, had
accompanied the branch of the sacred tree from
Patalipoora,* B.C. 307. On inquiring, I found that
the very remote antiquity of this family was ac-
knowledged by the jealous chiefs of the mountain
districts ; and I could not help feeling an interest
in the last scion of a race, whose admitted ancestry
reached far beyond the lineage of Courtenay, or the
descent of Howard.
This chief soon afterwards obtained permission
to visit his estates ; and at a subsequent period,
having assisted in securing the pretender to the
Kandian throne, (who had been secreted since 1818
in this part of the country,) he was not only per-
mitted to return to his estate, but was reinstated
in office as chief of the district. Although not a
clever man, his appearance and manners were dig-
nified and gentlemanlike : he died in 1837, leaving
a family to continue the race, and bear the digni-
The modern Patna.
fied appellation of Surya Kumara Singha (descended
from a prince of the solar and the lion race).
The system of adoption in the Kandian law ren-
ders the continuation of a particular family much
more probable than in any country where such a
proceeding is unknown, or unsanctioned by fixed
institutions or all-powerful custom. In Kandian
law, a child adopted in infancy (and born to parents
of equal rank with the person who adopted the
infant) had the same right of inheritance both to
titles and estates as if the actual child of the per-
son who had become its guardian, and who, after
a public adoption, was called and considered the
father. In general, the children adopted were se-
lected from the nearest relations of the person, who
determined through this means to prevent all risk
of being without children to watch his declining
years, and inherit his family estates. Several of
the highest rank of Kandian chiefs pretend to trace
the descent of tlieir families from those natives of
Maghada who accompanied Mihindoo and the re-
lics of Buddha from the continent in the fourth
century before Christ. Two families claim descent
from Upatissa, a minister of state, and interim King
for one year, B.C. 505
and one of these, who main-
tained his right by inheritance to the name which
he bore (Upatissa), produced to me a box containing
a quantity of dust, and some minute frail shreds of
tissue, which, he said, were the remains of a dress
worn by his royal and somewhat remote ancestor.
I have only seen a few written genealogies of Cinga-
lese chiefs, and, in following them, found wider and
more startling gaps than any I had been accus-
tomed to leap over in a backward trace to the pro-
genitor of some individuals who figure in the mo-
dern British peerage.
Amidst the ruins of the palace stand six square
pillars supporting some remains of a cornice
of these pillars is formed of a single stone, eighteen
feet in length, and three in breadth. There, also,
is the stone canoe made by order of King Dootoo-
gaimoonoo in the second century before Christ, to
hold the liquid prepared for the refection of the
it measures sixty-three feet in length, three
and a half feet in breadth, and two feet ten inches
in depth. Within the precincts of the royal build-
ings, projecting from the mould, and half covered
by the roots of a tree, a stone trough, from which
the state elephants drank, recalled to mind the
history of King Elloona, and the busy turbulent
scenes enacted in by-gone ages within those walls
where now the growl of the elephant, the startling
rush of wild hog and deer, the harsh screams of
peacock and toucan, increase the solemn but cheer-
less feelings inspired by a gloomy forest waving
o'er a buried city.
Elloona having murdered his cousin, the Queen
Singha Wallee, became King of Ceylon, a.d.
and was soon after imprisoned by his rebellious
subjects : the Queen, in despair, caused her infant
son to be dressed in his most costly robes, and or-
dered the nurse to place him at the feet of the
state elephant, that the child might be killed, and
escape the indignities inflicted on the monarch.
The nurse did as she was commanded ; but the ele-
phant (without hurting the young Prince) broke
his chain, rushed through the guards, threw down
the gates, and forced his way to the royal captive,
who got on his back, and, rushing through the
streets of the capital, escaped in safety to the sea-
coast. From thence he embarked for the Malaya
country : having raised an army there, he returned
to Ceylon, and regained his kingdom after an ab-
sence of three years. Elloona recognised with
affectionate joy the animal that had been the means
of saving his life; and several villages were ap-
pointed to furnish food and attendants to the royal
elephant during the remainder of his life.
The Isuramuni Wihare, (a temple partly cut in
the rock,) the Saila Chytia, (a small monument built
on a spot where Buddha had rested himself,) and
the tomb of Elala, are amongst the ruins visited
by the pious pilgrims. Elala was a successful in-
vader, who conquered Ceylon, B.C. 204, by means
of an army which he led from Sollee (Tanjore).
The Cingalese princes who possessed the southern
and the mountainous parts of the island as tributaries
becoming powerful, Elala built thirty-two forts to
protect the level country on the south against their
these forts were taken in succession by
the Prince Dootoogaimoonoo, who finally encountered
his rival in single combat, and slew him with a javelin.
They were each mounted on an elephant, and, as the
battle was preceded by a challenge, both the lead-
ers fought under the insignia of royalty: on the
spot where Elala fell, Dootoogaimoonoo erected a
monument and pillar, on which there was inscribed
a prohibition against any one passing this tomb in
any conveyance, or with beating of drums. Elala
is described, even by the Buddhist historians, as
being a good ruler and valiant warrior; he must
have been an old man when he encountered Doo-
toogaimoonoo, having reigned for forty- four years
after completing the conquest of Ceylon : his death
occurred B.C. 161. Time has hallowed the monu-
ment which it has failed to obscure, and the ruined
tomb of an infidel is now looked upon by many Budd-
hist pilgrims as the remnant of a sacred edifice:
although twenty centuries have elapsed since the
death of Elala, I do not believe that the injunc-
tion of his conqueror has ever been disregarded by
a native. In 1818, Pilame Talawe, the head of the
oldest Kandian family, when attempting to escape,
after the suppression of the rebellion in which he
had been engaged, alighted from his litter, although
weary and almost incapable of exertion ; and, not
knowing the precise spot, walked on, until assured
that he had passed far beyond this ancient me-
Pilame Talaw^ was apprehended in this district.
and transported to the Isle of France
from whence
he was allowed to return in 1830, and soon after
died from the effects of intemperance. He had nar-
rowly escaped death in 1812 for treason to the
King of Kandy ; as sentence had been passed, and
his father and cousin had already suffered before
he was brought prisoner to the city. The commence-
ment of a religious festival was the reason assigned
at that time for sparing his life ; although his slen-
der abilities and slothful habits are supposed to
have been more powerful arguments in favour of
the King's granting mercy, than the supplication of
friends, or the intercession of the priests, to whom
it was apparently conceded. Pilame Talawe was
the last of the direct branch of that family which
exercised the privilege of girding on the royal sword
at the inauguration of the Kandian monarchs.
Besides eight large tanks at Anuradhapoora,
there are several of a smaller size built round
with hewn stone ; and in the side of one of these
a priest pointed out apartments, cells, which he
said had been occupied by priests as places for
contemplation when religion flourished and the
tanks were full : one of these cells, which we ex-
amined, proved to be formed of five slabs, and its
dimensions were twelve feet in length, eight feet
in breadth, and five feet in height ; the lowest
stone, or floor of the cell, must have been nearly
on a level with the water in the tank. We also
saw many wells built round with stone
one very
large one near the Ruwanwelli-saye is circular, and
the size diminishes with each course of masonry,
so as to form steps for descending to the bottom
in any direction.
Near the footpath leading to the Jaitawanara-
maya, lies a vessel ornamented with pilasters cut in
it is formed out of a single granite stone,
and is ten feet long, six feet wide, and two feet
deep. It was used to contain food for the priests.
The following is translated from an ancient native
account of Anuradhapoora.
The magnificent city of Anuradhapoora is re-
fulgent from the numerous temples and palaces
whose golden pinnacles glitter in the sky. The
sides of its streets are strewed with black sand,
and the middle is sprinkled with white sand ; they
are spanned by arches
bearing flags of gold and
silver; on either side are vessels of the same pre-
cious metals, containing flowers ; and in niches are
statues holding lamps of great value. In the streets
are multitudes of people armed with bows and
also men powerful as gods, who with
their huge swords could cut in sunder a tusk
elephant at one blow. Elephants, horses, carts,
and myriads of people are constantly passing and
Arche formed of areka-trees split and bent, or of some
other pliable wood, were always used in decorating entrances
and public buildings on days of ceremony or rejoicing ; but I
have never seen an arch of masonry in any Cingalese building
of great antiquity.
repassing: there are jugglers, dancers, and mu-
sicians of various nations, whose chanque shells
and other musical instruments are ornamented with
gold. The distance from the principal gate to the
south gate is four gaws (sixteen miles) ; and from
the north gate to the south gate four gaws : the
principal streets are Chandrawakka-widiya,* Raja-
Hinguruwak-widiya, and Mahawelli-
widiya4 In Chandrawakka-widiya are eleven thou-
sand houses, many of them being two stories in
height ; the smaller streets are innumerable. The
palace has immense ranges of building, some of two,
others of three stories in height ; and its subter-
ranean apartments are of great extent."
With the exception of the four principal streets,
the others were built of perishable materials, and
were named from the separate classes which in-
habited them. The Chandalas (scavengers and
corpse-bearers) resided beyond the limits of the
yet it was a girl of this caste that Prince
Sali, only son of Dootoogaimoonoo, married, and
chose rather to resign all chance of succession to
the throne than to part from his beauteous bride.
The detailed account of Prince Sali's romantic at-
tachment to Asoka Malla is probably less correct
than a tradition preserved in Kotmalia, viz. that
Sali's mother was not of the royal race, but a
woman of the Goyawanza (cultivator class), with
Moon street.
Great King street.
Great Sandy street, or from the river Mahawelli-ganga.
whom Dootoogaimoonoo formed a connection at
the time he was a fugitive in the mountainous
district of Kotmalia, to which place he had fled
to avoid the effects of his father's anger, and by
which act he acquired the epithet of Dootoo, or
the Disobedient, prefixed to his own name of Gai-
moonoo. Dootoogaimoonoo forgave his son, and
admired the bride
but appointed his brother, Saida-
tissa, as successor to the throne, that the Maha-
wanzae (great solar dynasty) might be preserved
in all its purity.
The great extent of Anuradhapoora, covering
within its walls a space of two hundred and fifty-
six square miles, will not give any just grounds
on which to estimate the extent of its population
as tanks, fields, and even forests are mentioned
as being wdthin its limits. The number and mag-
nitude of the tanks and temples constructed by
the Kings Dootoogaimoonoo, who reigned from B.C.
1 64 to B.C. 140, Walagam-bahoo, who reigned from
B.C. 89 to B.C.
and Mahasen, who reigned from
A.D. 275 to A.D. 302, are the best vouchers for the
numerous population which at these periods existed
in Ceylon; yet, as the tanks at least were formed
by forced labour, we cannot rate the wealth of
the nation by the extent of its monuments. The
public works of Prakrama-bahoo the First, who
reigned from a.d. 1153 to
prove that even
then Ceylon had a much more numerous population
than it now possesses ; and Cingalese accounts of
that period state the number of males, exclusive of
children, as amounting to three million four hundred
and twenty thousand... This number may be, and
probably is, overrated : but let those who doubt
that an immense population formerly existed in
Ceylon, compare the prodigious bulk of the ancient
monuments of Anuradhapoora, Magam, and Pol-
annarrua, with those erected by later Kings of the
then let them compare singly the remains
of the Kalaa tank,* the Kaudela
tank,f or many
others, with any or all the public works accom-
plished in Ceylon for the last five hundred years.
In constructing the immense embankments of these
artificial lakes, labour has been profusely, often,
from want of science, uselessly expended ; as I be-
lieve many of these great tanks, which are now in
ruins, would, if repaired, be found inapplicable to
the purposes of irrigation for which they were de-
signed : that is, the extent of plain which could
be cultivated by means of these reservoirs would
be of less value than the sums which it would be
requisite to expend in repairing and maintaining
the embankments.
In Anuradhapoora, the only sacred buildings of
modern date are a few small temples erected on
the foundations, and from the materials, of former
structures; they are supported by wooden pillars,
The Kalaa tank was completed before a.d. 477.
+ The Kaudela tank is now an extensive plain between
Minirie and Kandely.
which, even in the same building, present a great
variety of capitals, and perfect defiance of propor-
tion. These mean temples, wjth their walls of clay
and paltry supports, form a striking contrast to the
granite columns, massive foundations, and stone
pillars which still stand, or lie scattered in endless
profusion amidst the ruined heaps and proud re-
mains of former ages. They serve to prove that
Buddhism only clings with loosening grasp, where
it once held sovereign sway over mind and matter.
In September 1832, I again proceeded to Anu-
radhapoora, through Dambool, Manawewa, Kagam-
ma, near which are the ruins of the Nakha (finger-
nail) dagoba, and Tirapan. In several places, when
we approached within twenty miles of the city, we
perceived great heaps of stones on the road-side
they were intended to commemorate events which
are long since forgotten; but, nevertheless, every
pilgrim adds a stone to these nameless cairns.
About ten miles from Anuradhapoora, I sat down
on the rocky bank of a very small pond in the
Colon-oya forest : soon after, a native trader came
up, and pointed to a spot near me, from whence,
he said, his companion, only a few days before,
had been dragged by an alligator ; the unfortunate
man, while resting here during the heat of the day,
had fallen asleep close to the water, and in this state
was seized by the reptile. My informant, having
procured assistance from a village some miles off,
had attempted to recover the body of his companion
but was unsuccessful, as it was found that the pond
communicated with an underground cavern. I
emerged from this forest upon the plains around
the Nuwarawewa (city lake), which at this time
contained but a little water in detached pools
these were surrounded, almost covered, by a won-
drous assemblage of creatures, from the elephant
and buffalo, pelican, flamingo, and peacock, alligator
and cobragoya, down through innumerable varieties
of the animated creation : in the back-ground, the
crumbling spires of Anuradhapoora appeared over
the wooded embankment of this artificial lake. I
had supplied myself and my followers with abun-
dance of pea-fowl, which were to be met with in
numbers at every open space where water was to be
found ; and, on first entering one of these glades,
I have seen twenty of them within a space of one
hundred yards in diameter. Pea-fowl are naturally
wary; and, if it is a place where they have been
occasionally disturbed, it requires great caution to
ensure getting near enough to shoot them. The
morning is the best time for pea-fowl shooting, as
in the evening they keep near the edge of the
jungle, and in the forenoon they retire to some
thick dark copse, generally overhanging water, and
there rest during the heat of the day ; it is at this
time that the natives, who never throw away a shot,
usually kill them at roost.
Since my former visit in 1828, all the dagobas
had suffered some diminution, in consequence of
the heavy rains which had fallen in January 1829
the whole of the Abhayagiri had been cleared from
jungle by a priest, whose zeal in the difficult and dan-
gerous task had been nearly recompensed with mar-
tyrdom, a fragment of the spire having fallen on, and
severely injured, this pious desecrater of the pictu-
resque. The season had been particularly dry, and the
foliage of those trees which grew on rocky ground pre-
sented all the variety of an English autumn
the change of the monsoon was approach-
ing, and heavy rain fell during the night of
my arrival. At daybreak next morning I
ascended on the ruins of Mirisiwettiya,
and found the forest plains of this district
shrouded by mist and rising clouds ; but,
Though the loitering vapour braved
The gentle breeze, yet oft it waved
Its mantle's dewy fold,"
and magnified forms of mount-like sepulchres
were shadowed on the drear expanse. As
the sun arose behind the rock of Mehintalai,
silver mist " was dissipated in small
clouds, or fell in glittering drops : all was
damp, vast, and silent, as if the waves of
oblivion had only now rolled back from the
tombs of antediluvian giants
the half-formed rainbow, which ...
glanced amid these monuments,
was the first which had brighten-
ed the earth, or gladdened the
remnants of a perished race.
See how at once the bright-effulgent sun
Rising direct, swift chases from the sky
The short-lived twilight ; and with ardent blaze
Looks gaily fierce through all the dazzling air
He mounts his throne ; but kind before him sends
The general breeze, to mitigate his fire.
And breathe refreshment on a fainting world.

Desolate Country,

Devil Dancer.

Curious Ceremonies.

Wild Scene.


Surgical Operation.


The Doric.

Natives assembled
a Pearl

Theories in Europe regarding Ancient Trade

Ceylon, and the Paumban Passage.

Objections to these

Embassy to Rome


Malabars and Mohammedans.

Ceylon connected loith the


The Ramayan.



Native Canoes.
In proceeding from Anuradhapoora to Aripo in
March 1828, we slept at Oyamadoe, Payamadoe,
and Tamenawill^, having previously sent people for-
ward to clear the path and to prepare leaf huts for
our accommodation : the persons who had been
despatched on this employment had been much
annoyed by wild animals, and the huts which they
built were repeatedly injured by elephants. On
our way through the long-continued jungles of this
dreary route, we saw very few birds ; and those we
met with were invariably in the neighbourhood of
some pond or open space ; but the noise of our
followers frequently excited the attention of ele-
phants, who, after a few low growls, might be
heard moving oif from the unwonted tumult. To
the villages once existing on this line of road, and
still figuring in maps of Ceylon, the word Palu
(desolate) for a distance of forty miles was an in-
variable addition to the name of the place. Ex-
tensive rice grounds, but partially covered with
grass, proved that some of these villages had been
recently deserted, for the ever encroaching jungle
had not as yet cast over them that verdant shroud
which will consign them to oblivion, until a great
increase of population can force back the mighty
power of useless vegetation.
At Payamadoe one human being remained ; he
was a Kapua (devil-dancer), and gained a livelihood
by predicting events and prescribing medicine to
those who conveyed salt into the interior by this
dreary route. His small hut of frail materials also
served for a Kowila (inferior temple to gods or
devils) ; it was situated on the bank of a sluggish
stream, and shaded by an immense banyan tree.
Under its branches, an open space
levelled and
R 2
strewed with sand, served the Kapua for a theatre
on which to exhibit the various attitudes and vio-
lent contortions which apparently constituted the
whole of his devotions ; and certainly his perform-
ance had the effect of riveting the attention and
exciting the liberality of our numerous followers.
At night we crossed the stream to witness the
ancient Yaka ceremonies:* these rites belong to a
superstition which may dispute priority if it were
not conjoined with the Bali (planetary) worship
like it this superstition is alluded to in the earliest
traditions, and, like it, has maintained its hold over
the minds of the natives through every change in
the government or variety in the religion of Ceylon.
The Kapua, an athletic and very active man, danced
to the noise of the tom-toms which had accom-
panied our party, and kept excellent time with his
feet and hands ; on which, as well as on his neck,
arms, and ankles, he wore large hollow metal rings
called Salamba. Occasionally he appeared in the
highest state of bodily and mental excitement ; his
flesh quivering and his eyes fixed as if straining to
distinguish forms in the gloom of the surrounding
forest. In this mood, advancing towards the per-
son for whom his incantations were performed, and
while continuing one long respiration, he predict-
ed the fate, or prescribed for the complaint of
the demon worshiper. I examined several of the
Kapua's small packets of medicine
they were
Demon offerings mentioned in the Ramayan.
leaves folded up, and containing plain ginger in
powder ; this was, however, to be taken mixed in
very warm water, and with some peculiar ceremo-
nies. As the water in this part of the country is
notoriously unwholesome, it is probable the people
benefited by his nostrum. The firm belief in its
efficacy conjoined with the ceremonies no doubt
contributed to the successful result ; for all the
invalids declared themselves to be perfectly cured,
and the Kapua was continuing his laborious rites,
with untired energy, when at midnight I left him
in the full career of his medical and prophetic
duties. The scene I had just witnessed was im-
pressive from its mysterious wildness ; the banian
tree, which stretched its huge branches on one side
above the frail temple and three hundred natives
of different ranks, on the other side extended far
over the stream ; while the Yakadupha torch
(formed of resin and nitre) of the exorcist, threw
over the scene an indistinct light and livid colour-
ing, in which his wild figure, long dishevelled hair,
and frantic gestures, could be discerned and con-
trasted with the mute and motionless body of the
spectators, or the intensely anxious look of the one
who stepped forward to hear of
coming events,"
and pry into his future fate. Anon the torch
blazed for an instant, then sank into a dull blue
flame, which blended with the halo formed around
it by the dank fog that rested on the slimy stream.
With such a
light, and in such a chilling stagnant
atmosphere, the gigantic trees, even the people
amongst whom we stood, had an unearthly sem-
blance, as if the spirits of past ages were shadowed
forththose who had known these woods and wilds
ere death had gained exclusive dominion over man,
or the face of nature had been obscured by forests.
It is strange, but true, that here there has been
more change in nature than in mankind; a popu-
lous district has become a noxious wilderness ; its
villages and temples are overwhelmed by jungle
while the manners and religion of the Cingalese,
the rich dresses of the chiefs, and scanty covering
of the lower classes as they now stood before us,
have remained for upwards of two thousand years
comparatively unchanged.*
At Tamenawille our quarters were near a small
lake, which seemed to have attracted to its vicinity
every kind of living creature ; these combined at
night in imposing upon us a most villainous con-
cert of flapping, chirping, buzzing, drumming, hum-
ming, creaking, squeaking, croaking, ticking, scratch-
ing, scraping, barking, howling, growling, roaring

earth, air, and water contributing their share of

performers to the wearying dissonance. From every
part of the interior of our hut sounded the bassoon
of the frog and
shrill clarion" of the cricket ; while
on the outside the elk snorted trombone to the
serpent bass of the elephant. In Ceylon, from man
The antiquity of the Kandian dresses is mentioned in
their history, and authenticated by existing sculptures.
clown to the minutest atom endowed witli life,
there is one continued system of oppression ; each
preying on those that are inferior in power or
courage. Amongst many animals, and most in-
sects, there is a continued war of extermination in
progress; which, alone, from the rank vegetation
and general climate, prevents their overturning the
order of nature, and remaining undisputed lords of
earth and air. Often whilst resting in the jungle
during the noon-day heat, I have found extreme
interest in observing the sagacious manoeuvres em-
ployed by some insects, particularly those of the
ant kind, in carrying on their interminable feuds
and furious wars.
Between Payamadoe and Tamenawille we had an
opportunity of witnessing a curious specimen of
native surgery,the putting in an ankle joint which
had been dislocated : the poor man who had met
with the accident seemed to be suffering great
pain; when a head-man, who practised the healing
art, set to work with peculiar gravity, promising
to repair the damaged limb. He first secured the
unlucky man's shoulders to one tree, and the foot
of the injured limb was made fast to another by a
double rope
through this double the head-man
passed a short stick, which he afterwards twisted
round and round until he had tightened the cord
and stretched the limb. In doing this, the prac-
tioner twisted coolly, while the patient bawled
lustily ; then suddenly the stick was withdrawn,
allowing tlie cord to untwist itself, and the ankle
was found to be perfectly reinstated.
A few granite pillars, ancient landmarks, and
the ruined embankments of very extensive tanks,
were the only traces of man or his labours which
we saw until, having passed the Kandian limits,
which reach to within six miles of Aripo, we bade
farewell for the present to the gloomy jungle, hailed
the refreshing sea breeze, perceived the British flag
flying, and soon found ourselves involved in the
busy crowds and insufferable stench of the wretched
village of Kondatchie. This place is the station of
the boats employed in the pearl fishery, and gives
name to the bay in which the principal oyster
banks are situated, although the fishery is generally
of Manar," from the island and district of
that name
of Aripo," from an old fort situated
near the mouth of the river,* which, after passing
Anuradhapoora, makes a bend to the north-east,
before meeting the Curundu-oya and directing its
course due west to the sea, which it reaches four
miles to the north of Kondatchie. The ground
here is low, and consists of sand and clay covered
with stunted prickly jungle ; a few tattered cocoa-
nut trees looked like exiles in an uncongenial
yet even in their drooping state, they were
less annoying to the eye than the unvarying stiff-
ness of the palmyra-palm, and struck me as retain-
ing over them that advantage of appearance which
The Malwatte-oya, flower-garden river.
the dishevelled ringlets of a mop, if planted on
its handle, would possess over a furze broom in the
same predicament. A very large house, built by
Governor North, at a great expense, is called the
Doric, from the style of its architecture, which may
be correct, but its plan and situation are so ill
suited to the place, as to make it appear one of the
most prominent features of the ugliest landscape I
had seen in Ceylon. Having heard that the con-
course of people assembled at the fishery, caused
a large town, with long streets and valuable shops,
to start up as if by magic from the barren plain,
my disappointment was great to find that natives
sitting near, or sleeping under two or three palmyra
leaves, supported on one side to the height of
three feet, procured for such a shelter the appella-
tion of a house, and that lines of the same were
miscalled streets : as to the valuables exposed for
sale, during the week I remained, they consisted
of a few coarse cloths, and the commonest earthen-
ware vessels in which the natives cook their rice.
Very few of the multitude seemed to possess much
property ; but every one speculated as far as he
could command money or credit ; and even this ex-
citement appeared insufficient, as many might be
seen employed in other kinds of gambling, besides
that of purchasing pearl oysters. Two or three
natives who had come from the continent of India
were reputed to be rich, the outward and visible
signs of which were gaudy palanquins, and one of
them, moreover, had a gorgeous umbrella, covered
with purple velvet, and embroidered with gold.
The arrangements for each day's fishing com-
menced at midnight, at which time a gun was fired
as a signal, and all the boats started, having the
land breeze to waft them to the fishing-bank, on
reaching which, they anchored until the day was
sufficiently advanced, and the water smooth, in
which state it remains during the interval between
the land and sea breezes. The diving then com-
menced, and continued with wonderful exertion and
perseverance until the sea breeze set in ; then a
signal gun was fired, and the boats, returning with
the Government vessel, formed an animated and
pleasing scene, which was succeeded by the bustle
of selling the oysters by auction, and distributing
the shares to several temples, various subordinate
officers, the boat-owners, and shark-charmers.
The manner of diving is well described by Cor-
diner, from whom I have copied the following

About half-past six or seven o'clock, when the
rays of the sun begin to emit some degree of
warmth, the diving commences. A kind of open
scaffolding, formed of oars, and other pieces of
wood, is projected from each side of the boat, and
from it the diving tackle is suspended, three stones
on one side, and two on the other. The diving-
stone hangs from an oar by a light country rope
and slip knot, and descends about five feet into the
water. It is a stone of fifty-six pounds weight,
of the shape of a sugar-loaf. The rope passes
through a hole in the top of the stone, above which
a strong loop is formed resembling a stirrup-iron
to receive the foot of the diver. The diver wears
no clothes, except a slip of calico about his loins
swimming in the water, he takes hold of the rope,
and puts one foot into the loop or stirrup on the
top of the stone. He remains in this perpendicular
position for a little time, supporting himself by
the motion of one arm. Then a basket, formed
of a wooden hoop and network, suspended by a
rope, is thrown into the water to him, and into
it he places his other foot. Both the ropes of the
stone and basket he holds for a little while in one
when he feels himself properly prepared,
and ready to go down, he grasps his nostrils with
one hand to prevent the water from rushing in,
with the other, gives a sudden pull to the running
knot suspending the stone, and instantly descends
the remainder of the rope fixed to the basket is
thrown into the water after him at the same mo-
the rope attached to the stone is in such
a position as to follow him of itself. As soon as
he touches the bottom, he disengages his foot from
the stone, which is immediately drawn up, and
suspended again to the projecting oar in the same
manner as before, to be in readiness for the next
diver. The diver, in the bottom of the sea, throws
himself as much as possible upon his face, and
collects everything he can get hold of into the
basket. When he is ready to ascend, he gives a
jerk to the rope, and the person who holds the
other end of it, hauls it up as speedily as possible.
The diver, at the same time, free of every incum-
brance, warps up by the rope, and always gets
above water a considerable time before the basket.
He presently comes up at a distance from the boat,
and swims about, or takes hold of an oar or rope,
until his turn comes to descend again
but he sel-
dom comes into the boat until the labour of the
day is over. The basket is often extremely heavy,
and requires more than one man to haul it up,
containing besides oysters, pieces of rock, trees of
coral, and other marine productions.
The manner of diving strikes a spectator as ex-
tremely simple and perfect. There is no reason
to believe that any addition has been made to the
system by Europeans
nor, indeed, does there seem
the smallest room for improvement.
The superstition of the divers renders the shark-
charmers a necessary part of the establishment of
the pearl fishery. All these impostors belong to
one family; and no person who does not form a
branch of it, can aspire to that office. The natives
have firm confidence in their power over the mon-
sters of the sea, nor would they descend to the
bottom of the deep without knowing that one of
those enchanters was present in the fleet. Two
of them are constantly employed. One goes out
regularly in the head pilot's boat, the other performs
certain ceremonies on shore. He is stripped naked
and shut up in a room, where no person sees him
from the period of the sailing of the boats until
their return. He has before him a brass bason
full of water, containing one male and one female
fish made of silver. If any accident should happen
from a shark at sea, it is believed that one of these
fishes is seen to bite the other. The shark-charmer
is called in the Malabar language, cadalcutti, and
in the Hindostanee, hybanda ; each of which sig-
nifies a binder of sharks. The divers likewise be-
lieve, that if the conjuror should be dissatisfied, he
has the power of making the sharks attack them,
on which account he is sure of receiving liberal
presents from all quarters. Sharks are often seen
from the boats, and by the divers when they are
at the bottom of the sea, but an accident rarely
occurs. Many fisheries have been completed with-
out one diver being hurt
and perhaps not more
than one instance is to be found in the course of
twenty years.
The prejudices of the natives, however, are not
to be combated with impunity, and any infringe-
ment on their established customs would be im-
politic, if it were practicable. Their superstition
in this particular is favourable to the interests
of Government, as from their terror at diving,
without the protection of the charms, it prevents
any attempts being made to plunder the oyster-
The boats in use for the pearl-fishery
are roughly
built ;
they are about one ton burthen, draw little
water, and have only one sail ; each boat contained
ten divers, and ten others to assist, besides a soldier
to prevent thefts, as the banks at the time I visited
the fishery, were fished by
to the usual practice, which had been to rent the
fishery. Those oysters which were not sold imme-
diately on the arrival of the boats were thrown
into enclosures, which were paved, the floors hav-
ing a slope towards a shallow reservoir.
of these places were also occupied by the most
extensive purchasers, and in their
enclosures the
oysters were piled in great heaps and allowed to
die ; after going through the usual process of decay,
which, in so warm a climate is particularly rapid,
the fleshy part having been completely decomposed,
the pearls were found amongst the sand and refuse.
In general, however, the oysters are purchased and
divided amongst the speculators, who immediately
open them, and if lucky, sell their prizes and con-
tinue their speculations upon a larger scale. Where
thefts are so easily made, and a valuable article
like a pearl is so easily secreted, incessant watch-
fulness is necessary on the part of those who em-
ploy others to open oysters ; but I believe their
utmost endeavours are ineffectual, as the moral cha-
racter of most of those assembled at Kondatchie,
affords no check to their inclinations or interest
they have been attracted, many of them from a
distance, and at great risk and exertion, by avarice,
and their only principle and pursuit is how to make
money, and if successful, the end to them would
sufficiently sanctify the means.
The persons employed to survey the pearl banks
having ascertained the position of those on which
the oysters are of the proper age, proceed to
mark out the limits by placing buoys previous to
the commencement of the fishery. If the oysters
are too young, the pearls are small ; and if allowed
to be too old, the oysters die, the shells open,
the pearls are irrecoverably lost to man, and
known but to genii of the deep."
Portions of sand taken from banks on which the
oysters have died, (their shells detached from the
bottom having been washed away,) contain no ap-
pearance of pearls.
The space over which the oyster-banks which are
fished extend, is from twenty-five to thirty miles
square, situated in the lower part of the gulf of
Manar ; although some are much deeper, the aver-
age depth of water on the best pearl-banks may
be taken at forty feet. The pearl-oyster, although
neither palatable nor wholesome, has no poison-
ous quality, and is said to be sometimes eaten by
the poorest of those people who frequent the
None of the pearl divers are Cingalese, and only
those few who come from Manar are subjects
of the British Government; the remainder arrive
from various towns and villages on the opposite
coast of the Indian continent : the consequence
of this was, that the Dutch Ceylon Government
having quarrelled with the native sovereigns of the
Southern Peninsula of India, they prevented the
divers from resorting to the fishery, which was thus
interrupted and prevented from 1768 until the
taking of Ceylon by the British in 1796. Imme-
diately after that event, a fishery was announced,
and rented for sixty thousand pounds, beyond which
the renter is supposed to have made other sixty
thousand. In 1797, the fishery rented for one
hundred and forty-four thousand. In 1798 for one
hundred and ninety-two thousand. In 1799 it fell
to thirty thousand; the fable of the goose with
the golden eggs being exemplified in the indiscri-
minate destruction of the oysters on banks where
they could have been but of little value. From
this time up to 1 806 there was no fishery at Manar,
and even then it only rented for thirty-five thou-
sand pounds.
There are some detached banks, but of incon-
siderable value compared to Manar, situated further
to the south, and on the west coast of the island,
nearly opposite to the village of Chilaw, these had
not been fished for thirty-six years previous to
1803, and then they produced a revenue of fifteen
thousand pounds
they have occasionally been
rented since that time, but have never realised any-
thing approaching to the same amount. The facts
above-mentioned at first sight might induce a belief
that the age of the oyster was greater than is gene-
rally supposed ; but there is no doubt that the pre-
sent management produces a much larger amount,
besides being a much less precarious item of re-
venue than allowing an accumulation of several
years, and permitting renters to fish where they
chose. Repeated examinations of the banks, and
judicious restrictions of the fishery to those places
where the oysters are of full size, have almost
brought the pearl-fishery to be a regular annual
addition to the income of the island.
In digging anywhere near Kondatchie, the extra-
ordinary depth of oyster shells vouches for the
number of ages which have successively witnessed
the same persevering, difficult, dexterous, and eager
pursuit of these delicate baubles. The greatest
number of oysters brought in by one boat in a
day, was thirty-eight thousand; the greatest num-
ber of boats employed in one day was one hundred
and sixty-two ; and the greatest length of time any
diver that I heard of remained under water was
seventy seconds. The fishery of which I am now writ-
ing, commenced on the 5tli of March, and continued
until the end of April 1828. Only one large and
one small bank were fished : the oysters of the former
at one time sold as low as seven rupees (about four-
VOL. I. s
teen shillings) for a thousand
and for a short time
those of the small bank rose to eighty rupees, but
having been much overvalued, soon fell to one-
third of that price. This fishery realized about
thirty thousand pounds to Government.
Theorists have called for the abolition of what
they are pleased to term
the pearl-fishery mono-
poly," and have had the hardihood to assert, that
to throw it open would benefit the inhabitants of
Ceylon ; but it is to be hoped that neither vague
theory, nor the sound of a wordmonopoly, will
triumph over common sense and justice, to deprive
the public of Ceylon of this unexceptionable source
of revenue. If the pearl-fisheries of the island
were thrown open to all speculators, a very short
period would suffice to annihilate this mine of
wealth, and the only benefit would accrue to a
adventurers who, for one season, might
appropriate to themselves this portion of the re-
venue of Ceylon, and thus profit by the fiat of
presumptuous ignorance.
Other theories which certainly require more facts,
and of a different kind from those as yet brought
forward in their support, have been advanced with
confidence, and received without hesitation in Eu-
rope. It has been asserted that, from b.c
500, Cey-
lon was of the greatest possible importance in re-
spect to general trade, and that until the latter end
of the fifteenth century, it was the emporium of
trade carried on between the eastern and western
portions of the old world, between Africa, India,
and China. I shall here state a few objections to
these theories in their full extent, and also to some
of the points which have been adduced in proof
of their correctness. We are told that the pas-
sage which separates Manar from the opposite coast
of Ceylon near Mantotte, and the Paumban pas-
sage between the island of Ramisseram and the
continent of India, have
both been much deeper
in ancient times." Now, with regard to these
straits in the remote and obscure ages described
in the Ramayan,* we find that Rama having com-
pleted the Saitubandha, or causeway through the
then existing straits, marched his army across it
from the continent of India to the invasion of
Ceylon ; but that soon afterwards great part of the
coasts of that island were overwhelmed by the sea.
The era of Rama is placed by Sir William Jones B.C.
1810. Cingalese history fixes the period of the death
of his enemy Rawena, who they say fell by his own
hand, B.C.
This is also the period assigned for
the submerging of the capital, and the greatest part
of the then extensive island and kingdom of Lanca,
Ceylon.:j: If the Cingalese
have writ their annals
true, tis there," even in histories now proved to be
generally authentic, that in the third century be-
fore Christ, another irruption of the sea encroached
RamayanCingalese, Rawena-Katawa.
+ Raja*walliaRawena-Katawa.
Rawena-Katawa^ Lanka Wistria, and Kadaimpota.

s 2
260 giant's tank.
far on the western coast of Ceylon, destroyed many
villages inhabited by pearl-divers, and formed Ma-
nar into an island, by forcing through the passage
which now exists between it and Ceylon. It is
near this strait, at Mantotte, that some remains
of slight buildings have been called forward to
vouch for the former existence of a rich and exten-
sive city which commanded these narrow seas, and
was inhabited by wealthy merchants in whom was
centred the trade of the known world. Much stress
has also been laid on an unfinished tank in that
neighbourhood, called the giant's tank, which was
intended to have been supplied with water from the
river Awar-aar, formerly called by the Cingalese
name, in which it is often mentioned in history,
the Kolong or Malwatte-oya. The embankment
which was to divert the current of the river still
remains, a substantial monument of excellent ma-
sonry; but the tank itself is similar in plan, and
inferior in extent to many of those which were
completed by the Cingalese sovereigns of the island,
to whom must be attributed the whole of the great
works or extensive remains which are to be found
in Ceylon ; for Dalamagalan who reigned from a.d.
547 to 567,
and Udaya the Second, who reigned
in the tenth century are both mentioned as having
formed embankments across the Malwatte-oya, and
diverted its stream into various branches and tanks
which they had formed. Magnitude and durabi-
lity are the characteristics of these ancient Cinga-
lese works, which were reared by the profuse ex-
penditure of forced labour, when a numerous people
were goaded to exertion by a powerful despotism.
Matotte or Mantotte is sometimes confounded with
Mahawettatotte, at the mouth of ,the Mahawelle-
ganga in the bay of Kotiar, and nearly opposite to
the principal entrance to the inner harbour of
I am not aware of any ancient remains at, or
near the ports and harbours of Ceylon, except the
ruins of a temple at Trinkomalee, the site of which,
like that at Dewundera, has more probably been
selected from its being on a conspicuous
tory, than as being in any way
connected with
mercantile prosperity. The Cingalese are not, pro-
bably they never were, a trading nation, and the
commerce of the island, such as it was, may
have been carried on by the mixed race
minately called Malabars, inhabiting the
peninsula of India, and spreading over the north-
ern and eastern parts of the coasts of Ceylon.
This race often combined in predatory incursions,
and not unfrequently succeeded in conquering
greater part of the island ; but the precarious
tenure of sudden conquest by associated plunderers,
was that alone by which they held any independent
possessions in Ceylon, and against them the Cinga-
lese carried on continual hostilities which invariably
terminated in the subjugation or expulsion of the
intruders. From some of these Malabar settlers
or tributaries, must the mission to Rome have pro-
ceeded in the time of the Emperor Claudius ; and
from the records preserved of their statements, we
may infer that they were not less given to what
their descendants are so prone to, viz. falsehood, and
exaggeration. It is said, that at the head of this
mission came a Rachia or Raja

a monarch or a
mendicant ! A Risha may have wandered into Italy,
a Raja would not have undertaken such a journey.
In the continued and unsuccessful struggles of the
Malabars to acquire territory and retain it in pos-
session, we may be allowed to wonder at the alleged
prosperity of the merchants, and to ask for the re-
mains of the establishments which monopolists of
trade in
the great emporium between Europe and
eastern Asia," would no doubt have erected, had
that trade been of any value. The remains at
Mantotte and Kudramalai, a promontory believed
to be the Hippuros of Pliny, will not satisfactorily
answer the question. I may here observe, that
Palaesimundo,* which the Rachia described to be
the principal city, and to have a capacious harbour,
might be fairly translated
the lowlands."
Mr. Tumour remarks, that in the historical
works of the island, ships are only mentioned
the instances in which missions have been sent to
the Indian continent, or the eastern peninsula,
Most of the Kandian districts were divided into Udacia and
Palacia, upper and lower ;
Mandhala signifies a province, thus
Palaciya Mandhala is lower province.
either on political embassies, or for the purpose of
to the island the betrothed princess
from the Indian courts, which usually supplied the
consorts of the sovereigns of Ceylon. The expedi-
tion against the King of Arramana and Cambodia,
in the reign of Parakrama Bahu is described in
some detail; and it is there stated, that "several
hundred vessels were equipped for that service in
five months." This was in the sixteenth year of
the reign of Prakrama-bahoo, or a.d. 1169.
If the Malabars could not establish themselves
and permanently, still less could the
Cingalese Mohammedans who, in political obscurity
as well as in their pursuits, resembled very nearly
the condition of the Jews in Europe, in the poorest
states, and under the most rapacious and despotic
monarchs of the dark ages. The record of the hos-
tilities carried on against the Portuguese, Dutch,
and English by the Kandians, after they were
cooped up in the centre of the country, will show
what chance
less civilised and powerful traders had
of maintaining their independence, or retaining
their wealth, before the decay of population, and
the dismemberment of the most valuable province^
of the Cingalese kingdom. We also find it re-,
corded in the native histories, that the King Gaja-
bahoo marched
across by Ramisseram to the con-
tinent, a.d.
113, and that on his return, he visited
and repaired its temples. But to
and doubtful points of history for
authentic documents of modern science; I shall
quote from Major Sims's report of 1829, regard-
ing the practicability of improving the Paumban
The Paumban passage, or, as it is called by
the inhabitants, the Paumban river, is a narrow
opening through a dam or ridge of rocks, extend-
ing from the island of Ramisseram to the opposite
promontory, on the continent to the east of Ram-
* * *
The continuation of the rocks,
or dam, can be easily traced on the main land
and island of Ramisseram, preserving exactly the
same direction, but on both sides several feet higher
than the dam in its natural position, and in uni-
form layers, having a small inclination to the
* * * * "
The ridges which form the
dam are very much broken and displaced, and now
consist of large flat masses of rocks, seldom more
than two or three feet in thickness. Their shat-
tered state, and the break or chasm which they
form in the general height of the stratum of rock,
would seem to indicate that the island of Ramis-
seram was at one time connected with the main
land, and that it had been separated in the first
instance by the sea, during storms, breaking over
and bursting the chain of rocks which joined them,
and afterwards by the water undermining and dis-
placing the broken fragments."
* * * * "
supposition corresponds with the tradition of the
inhabitants, for the Brahmins of Ramisseram state,
that when Achoodapah Naig was Raja of Madura,
A.D. 1484, the island was connected with the con-
tinent, and that the Saumy of Ramisseram was
carried to the main land thrice every year on par-
ticular festivals. During Achoodapah Naig's reign,
a small breach in the rock was caused by a violent
storm ; but as there was no great depth of water
in it, travellers still continued to cross on foot till
the time of his successor, Vissoovana Naig, when
the breach was much enlarged by a second storm.
The Divan Ramapiah was ordered to fill up the
breach, that the pilgrims of the pagoda of Ramis-
seram might pass without difficulty; this was ac-
cordingly done, and the repairs lasted about ten
years, when a third hurricane re-opened and greatly
extended the breach."
* * * *
The rock
of which the dam is composed, is a sandstone, vary-
ing considerably in quality and compactness,
everywhere soft and easily pierced and broken."
* * * *
The dam is two thousand two hun-
dred and fifty yards in length ; it is bounded by
two parallel ridges of rock, about one hundred and
forty yards apart."
* * *
The circumstances above related, the facts re-
corded in Cingalese history, and the little know-
ledge possessed by those ancient writers of the
western world, who have mentioned Ceylon, lead
me to doubt if any very extensive commerce was
carried on in the island during the early ages
still less do I admit that "it is proved to have
been the great emporium of trade between the
eastern and western world." From the facts and
quotations above given, I infer that the Paumban
channels have gradually been becoming deeper by
the action of the waves and currents upon the
ledges of rock which impede this passage ; and that
if ever there was any channel through which large
ships could pass between Ceylon and the continent,
it must have been during some temporary shifting
of the sand-banks between Manar and Ramisseram.
This is not likely ; Pliny, to be sure, mentions with
some hesitation,
channels of so great a depth, that
no anchor can fasten itself," while the rest of the
space was not more than six feet in depth ; but
the remainder of the sentence will show that this
was merely imperfect information, and that the
channels there mentioned are the same narrow
shallow passages that now exist ; and that they
were then navigated by the same wretched craft
that is still used by the natives, under the names
of dhonies, canoes, &c.
The ships are constructed
so as to sail either way, in case it should be ne-
cessary to turn back while in the straits." The
arguments and opinions brought forward to support
the statement that large ships ever passed through
the Manar and Mantotte, or the Paumban channels,
appear to me quite insufficient to support such a
The Hindus imagine that many of the combats
and scenes described in the Ramayan, occurred in
this part of the island ; that the rough beads, ban-
gles, and other ornaments of very coarse coloured
glass, found in great quantities mixed with the soil,
in the tank and vicinity of Patsimadoe, are the
remains of the ornaments of fallen warriors of that
and that Marambu, Pomparippo, Mari-
chicatty, Mardod^ &c. &c., preserve by their
names the recollections of that great war. The
Swaita-ma-parwatia, the white rocks which were
the key of Rama's position, the Ranabhumi, battle-
field in which Rawena fell, and his splendid fort
of Sri-lanka-poora, lie whelmed beneath the ocean
on the west side of Ceylon.
To return from this digression to the busy scene
and noisome stench of Kondatchie, and its pearls.
Large pearls appeared to me to sell at prices nearly
as high as what they could be purchased for in
trash, or seed pearls, as the very small ones
are called, sold much higher; and it was under-
stood that this kind was principally intended for
the Chinese market.
Having already seen the country between Aripo
and Colombo, which I had passed through while
on a coursing and shooting excursion (of which
I have given an account elsewhere), and that route
affording little variety or interest, I proceeded in a
boat to Chilaw. About sixteen miles from Aripo,
we passed the promontory of Kudra-Malai,
is conjectured, not only from the derivation of the
name, but also from its position, to have been the
place reached by a freedman of Annius Plocamus,
in the time of the Emperor Claudius.* There are
remains of a town near this promontory, but whe-
ther it was a colony of Mohammedans or Malabars,
or neither, I could not make out, from the tra-
The following is from an article in the Colombo Journal,
25th July 1832^
Gibbon, in a note to the tenth chapter of the Decline and
Fall of the Roman Empire, has inadvertently represented the
freedman as farming the tribute instead of Annius Plocamus.
This freedman is supposed to have preceded but a short time
Hippalus, the discoverer of the south-west monsoon, which
was called after his name. Of the precise situation of Hippu-
rus we are not informed, but learn that it was a port to the
northward; and it is plain that it must have been on the
western coast, from the circumstance of Hippalus having been
blown across during his sailing round Arabia. A conjecture
has often suggested itself, which the latent etymology of the
name given to the port at which Hippalus arrived, in two dif-
ferent languages might, with a trifling literal alteration in one
of the names, seem to sanction. The name by which the port
is called in Pliny, is Hippuros, "nnvovpoQ (the horse's tail), as
Arcturus is the bear's tail
; now, supposing the name to have
been really Hipporos, we shall have for the name of the port,
'iTTTropoQi instead of the former ; the exact translation
of which
into English is horse-mountain. Now, can we find on the
north-western coast, to which Hippalus was carried, any trace
of such a name ? We have it clearly in the name given to the
highland immediately opposite to Calpentyn, in the Malabar
language, Coodra-malie, literally horse-mouhtain, and it is re-
markable that the port of Calpentyn, and the inland
coast ad-
joining to the horse-mountain, are the only parts of the coast
between Manar and Negombo into which he could have entered.
At this day, vessels from the coast are often detained at Cal-
pentyn, on their way to Colombo, without the
power oi advanc-
ing further against the south-west monsoon.
ditions concerning it ; these traditions were wild in
incident, and so absurd in dates, as to be unworthy
of notice.
From Chilaw, I procured a canoe which conveyed
me with great speed to Colombo, bounding over
the waves without any of that jumbling motion
which has caused me to feel every other kind of
vessel so sickening and uncomfortable. These
canoes are of a very peculiar construction ; the
principal part consisting of a long tree hollowed
out; on this, a high mast, and still higher sail,
appear quite disproportioned to the vessel, which
is prevented from being upset by a log of wood
called the outrigger ; this is a sort of miniature of
the canoe, only it is solid, and is attached and kept
parallel to the canoe by means of two-curved elastic
sticks. The outrigger is always to leeward, and,
as both ends of the canoe are shaped alike, the
change of direction is accomplished with little de-
lay, by simply shifting the sail, and proceeding with
the former stern as its head. The motion of these
canoes somewhat resembles that of a horse at full
gallop ; and if the outrigger is well secured, they
are able to keep the sea in ordinary weather, which
could hardly be expected, judging from their simple
form and skeleton-like appearance.
To fright the animals, and to kill them up
In their
and native dwelling-place.
To Madampe Pepper Garden.



Crocodile Charmers.
Crocodile Hunt,

Catching Croco-
Ganges Stag.


Immense Tree.

Noosing a wild Elephant.

Elephant Shooting.



Driving Elephants.


Wild Elephants tail amputated.

Soon after my return from Adam's Peak, I pro-
ceeded, in company with two friends, along the
coast to the northward on a sporting expedition,
in the course of which I was fortunate enough to
shoot, besides smaller game, pea-fowl, deer, alliga-
tors, and elephants.
Our first stage was Negombo, the next Chilaw,
two considerable villages with old forts (the former
commenced by the Portuguese, and both completed
by the Dutch). In neither did I see anything
worthy of remark. Negombo is twenty-three, and
Chilaw fifty miles from Colombo. We halted a
night at Madampe, nine miles short of Chilaw, in
a thriving pepper-garden, where the vines, clustered
round the stems of high forest trees, produced a
luxuriant cool appearance, and formed a pleasing
shade over neatly kept walks, which diverged in
every direction from the collector's bungaloe in
which we had established ourselves. On one side
of this forest-garden, extended a tank covered with
water-lilies ; this is the principal memorial left to
show that Madampe was a residence of princes who
aspired to independence, in the fifteenth century.
Of the beauties of this place I should have retained
a more pleasing recollection, had not the mosqui-
toes proved more annoying and severe than I ever
felt them
and had not the number of jackals
that went hunting past, or sat howling around
our door, awakened whole troops of monkeys,
the screaming and chattering of which completely
prevented my forgetting in sleep the folly I had
committed, by first lying down without closing
my mosquito-curtains. Putlam is a large village,
near which, on the flat shores of its shallow gulf,
there is a considerable manufacture of salt ; it is
eighty-five miles from Colombo, and the whole
of our way had been across a succession of rice-
fields, jungles, and plains, through which, by taking
advantage of various streams, and connecting
by a canal, there is now water-carriage, by which
we had forwarded from Colombo our travelling-
lumber, and the supplies necessary for our further
The tanks and sluggish streams in the neighbour-
hood of Putlam and along this coast, are infested
by crocodiles in great numbers ; these reptiles some-
times attain the length of seventeen feet, and not
having any enemy sufficiently powerful to combat
against them with success, except man, they are
to be found in every small piece of water, in those
flat districts in which the population is scanty. In
the mountainous region, crocodiles are very rarely
but in districts where they abound, human
beings occasionally become their prey, which they
generally secure while it is in a state of rest, al-
though I have heard a well-authenticated
of a man being seized and dragged from a small
canoe in which he was crossing a river in the M4-
gampattoo. They destroy great numbers of deer,
young cattle, and animals of all kinds which come
to drink, or lie down to cool themselves in the
rivers and ponds. In hunting, or coursing, it is
necessary to ride well up to your dogs and advis-
able to fire a pistol on approaching water, as other-
wise the dogs run a great risk of being taken down
by crocodiles; indeed, this so frequently happens,
as greatly to diminish the pleasure of hunting, and
to increase the difficulty of preserving good dogs.
When a party has to pass through deep water,
crocodile charmers give assurance of safety, and are
always successful in bringing their employers along
without accidents. Such conjurors as I have seen
employed in this vocation, took care that the whole
party had assembled on the bank, while the incan-
tations, accompanied by splashing of water, were
in process ; then, on receiving notice that the
crocodiles were effectually muzzled, all rushed in
together, thus creating sufficient disturbance to
frighten the cowardly slothful reptiles, and to show
that there may be safety as well as confidence
from the manoeuvres of a crocodile-charmer. That
crocodiles are neither active nor courageous, may
be inferred from the manner in which the natives
of Putlam and some other places venture into
water where they abound, and drag them to the
bank by means of a strong net. This is a curious
and interesting sight ; but it was not without sur-
prise and considerable anxiety that I witnessed it
for the first time. We had noticed the heads and
backs of several crocodiles, and immediately after
the net being arranged, we perceived the crocodile-
hunters, seven or eight unarmed Moormen, wade
up to their necks in the water, and form a semi-
circular line around the spot where the animals
had been last observed ; for, on seeing the unusual
bustle of preparation for their capture, they had
gradually lowered their heads beneath the surface.
The people employed in dragging the net moved
their legs rapidly, and others who accompanied
them kept striking on the surface of the water
with poles
they proceeded in this way, gradually

contracting the space within the net, until they
brought three crocodiles to the shore at the place
where we, armed with spears and guns, were wait-
ing to commence the work of destruction. The
most vulnerable place in which to strike a croco-
dile with a spear is, that part of the body which
is left exposed when the creature moves its fore
legs ; and for this, and every other kind of attack,
the spear should be so formed as to admit of its
being easily withdrawn, that you may strike a more
deadly blow if the first should prove ineffectual.
The persons employed in dragging (although inside
the net), or beating up the game, did not ex-
hibit any symptoms of alarm, nor did much ex-
ertion appear requisite to get out of the way
when the crocodiles bestirred themselves, and at-
tempted to regain the deep cover of the tank
this they seemed determined to accomplish, on
finding themselves suddenly in shallow water and
closely surrounded. The best way of destroying
crocodiles is, by means of hooks baited with flesh
attached to a strong cord, not hard
composed of many small strings, which get between
the wide-set teeth of the animal, and cannot there
be cut ; a block of wood to which the lines are
attached serves as a float, and points out the place
to which the crocodile has retired after swallowing
the bait. An attendant, having laid hold of this
float, pulls very gently until the animal's head ap-
pears above water ; then a shot, directed between
the head and neck, breaks the spine and renders
the creature powerless ; after which, it is dragged
ashore and the tackling recovered. In this manner
a gentleman killed several hundreds of these ani-
mals in one year in the Batticaloe district. Al-
though the hard and irregular surface of a croco^
dile's skin is very apt to cause a ball to glance off,
there is no part of any one which I saw, that would
resist an ordinary-sized ball properly directed.
In the neighbourhood of Aripo, and at the plains
near Marichicotta, and Pomparipo, deer* are to
be met with in great numbers, and aiford good
sport to those who are fond of coursing, and dis-
regard the danger of hard riding over broken
ground. These deer are prettily spotted, and more
elegantly formed than the fallow-deer, which, how-
ever, they much resemble ; they are easily tamed,
but the males become dangerous when old; even
the does are apt both to butt and bite when they
are full grown. Albinoes are not uncommon in this
species of deer; three of them were found at the
palace of Kandy, when it was taken possession of
by the British forces under General Macdowall in
1803, and I have heard of several, and seen one,
perfectly white ; the eyes had that peculiar red
colour so common in albinoes. Notwithstanding
the abundance of game, there are many difficulties
in the way of those who persevere in coursing
the wooded nature of the country, and coarse vege-
The Axis, or Ganges stag.
T 2
tation of the plains, require that the dogs be fleet
they must also be strong, and high-couraged enough
to speed through the prickly plants which are so
common in the open ground>s of Ceylon. In dry
weather, the ground is intersected by numerous
cracks; and wherever the deep footsteps of ele-
phants have been formed during the rainy season,
they afterwards become hardened by the sun, and
are a serious and dangerous obstacle for horses to
pass over. It is difficult, on account of the warmth
of the climate, to rear good dogs in Ceylon, and it
is still more difficult to preserve them ; for their
bitter enemy, the crocodile, is always to be found
in number^ near those places where coursing is
practicable. The sportsman must contrive to find
game, and start his dogs near some small jungle
from whence the deer have to cross the plain be-
fore they can reach a continued forest ; break of
day is the best time, and the chase once com-
menced, unless dogs, horses, and riders have suffi-
cient strength and use their utmost energies, co-
verts, impracticable for dogs, will soon receive the
game and disappoint the sportsman. If he happens
to have young dogs, he may also have the additional
mortification of seeing them return lame and torn
from a useless attempt to follow the chase in a
thorny jungle, while the cunning elders of the pack
have wisely given up pursuit at the edge of the
forest, and contented themselves
with looking at
the gallant younkers dashing into the thorny brake.
At Marichicatty we observed the natives purify-
ing the thick, white, muddy, and unwholesome
water, which was the only kind to be met with
there, by means of a small nut called ambuprasa-
dana, which is commonly found in the dry parts
of Ceylon, and when rubbed down in the inside
of an earthen vessel, has the effect of clearing the
water by precipitating the earthy particles.
At the Mohammedan burying-ground in the vil-
lage of Putlam stands a tree, called by the natives
Papparapooli, the giant's taramind; six feet from
the ground its solid stem is nearly forty feet in
circumference, and at eight feet it divides into
two branches, one being twenty-two feet, the other
twenty-six feet in circumference. The height of
this tree is under one hundred feet ; and on inquir-
ing of the inhabitants, they said, that according to
their traditions its age did not exceed one hundred
years. It is, I believe, an Adansonia, and the only
one I saw in the island.
From Putlam we crossed the gulf of Calpentyn
(which is here eight or nine miles broad) to the
low uninhabited island of Karativoe, and there
took up our quarters for two days in a dilapidated
Hindu temple. This island is about nine miles
long and one broad ; in the middle is a large pond,
surrounded by an open space covered with coarse
grass, and both ends of the island are overgrown
with jungle rising from a swampy soil. We had
brought people with us to beat the brushwood, and
having placed ourselves, and stationed the dogs on
the edge of the plain, we succeeded in killing se-
veral deer, and saw some good coursing. The veni-
son of such deer as are fat is excellent, but in gene-
ral, it is not only very dry but is also insipid. The
jelly made of a native fruit called lowi-lowi is often
eaten in Ceylon with venison, it resembles red cur-
rant jelly, but is more acid
when the fruit of the
lowi-lowi is ripe, and its red berries, (about the size
of a nutmeg) are hanging in clusters as large as
a bunch of grapes, amongst very thick and dark
foliage, it appears one of the prettiest fruit-bear-
ing trees in Ceylon.
Near Putlam I saw, for the first time, a wild ele-
phant noosed by a hunter ; this man had accom-
panied us on a shooting excursion ; and having heard
of three elephants in the forest, we got near enough
to kill one, another was very young, and the third
an old one, went off apparently unhurt. While this
elephant was tearing through the jungle, the hun-
ter kept close on the animal's flank, until with
great dexterity he contrived (when the elephant
was stepping over a fallen tree) to slip the noose
round its hind leg, and almost at the same instant
he wound the other end of the cord several times
round the trunk of a tree. The sudden check
threw the animal on the ground, and its capture
might easily have been completed ; but although
the skill of the hunter was thus successfully exhi-
bited, it was not sufficiently rewarded ; the elephant
was found to have received a mortal hit, and died
immediately after its fall. The young one, about
two years old, remained near, and was left unmo-
lested. Before returning to Colombo, we killed
several more elephants near Palam, and had some
good pea-fowl shooting about ten miles inland from
Putlam on the Kandy road ; we also saw two leo-
pards, and a few red-legged partridges, but did not
get a shot at them.
A sportsman fairly equipped for elephant shoot-
ing, ought to have at least four barrels, and the best
form of these would be two double-barrelled guns
carrying balls of an ounce and a third in weight,
and of strength sufficient to take a large charge of
powder. I should prefer plain to rifle barrels, as
they occupy less time in loading, which is some-
times of great consequence: and smooth barrels
carry balls with sufficient accuracy ; for shooting at
a distance is never successful in this sport, and it
is not advisable (if you have a choice) to fire until
you are within fifteen yards of the animal ; half
that distance is preferable, as then your shot, if
it fails to kill, will in all probability check him
for a sufficient time to allow of exchanging your
gun and hitting again. As the sportsman's atten-
tion must be entirely occupied in forcing through
the jungle, and keeping a good look out, the per-
son who follows close to him should have good
nerves, sufficient activity,
and some experience
if this be the case, the sportsman runs little risk,
as liis follower will hand him the loaded gun imme-
diately on hearing the other discharged. This is
done by those
accustomed to it in such a way, that
the sportsman is not required to withdraw his eye
from the animal, whose advance might not allow
him time to return to his proper position, and take
a steady aim.
In this excursion along the western coast, I had
given my spare guns in charge to two common
Colombo coolies (baggage porters), who had volun-
teered for the employment, and said they were
accustomed to the sport. On one occasion, at
Palam, I found myself in a most disagreeable and
dangerous position; but nothing could exceed the
coolness, promptitude, and sound judgment with
which these two men acted, under the peculiar cir-
cumstances of the case. In an extremely thick
dark copse, matted with thorny creeping plants,
two elephants had taken shelter after the disper-
sion of a herd, two of which we had killed. The
mould under this copse was hard, bare, and black,
and the brushwood was without leaves for eighteen
inches from the ground; this was occasioned by
the place being a hollow, which filled with water
during the rainy season. Creeping in on my breast
for a few feet, I could distinguish the legs of a very
large elephant, whose head was concealed by the
foliage; but another and smaller one was suffi-
ciently visible to allow of my taking a proper aim.
Looking round, and seeing the coolies close to the
edge of the brushwood, and being myself, as I
imagined, ready to back out and face the expected
charge of the large elephant, I fired at the other
and it fell dead. I then attempted to rise, but
felt myself entangled and secured by numerous
twigs and the strong hooked thorn, so common in
many Kandian jungles, but which was then un-
known to me. I had no time to repeat my efforts
at escape ; for I immediately felt the tangled mass
of vegetation pressing forward upon me, while the
big elephant rushed up almost close to where I
lay, and there stood uttering that fearful shrill
trumpet-like squeal with which these animals gene-
rally accompany their charge. The coolies were
little more than a pace to my right, and it was to-
wards them the elephant had rushed. They per-
ceived my situation, and each of them thrust down
a gun through the brushwood (so that the butt end
was within my reach), and then ran for their lives.
The elephant, already at the edge of the copse,
did not pursue ; for I suppose it missed and was un-
willing to leave its fallen companion: there the
brute remained, trumpeting, and standing with its
round shapeless legs within my reach, and its head
almost over me. I had a rifle, carrying a ball of
two ounces' weight in my hand,this I raised per-
pendicularly under the elephant's head, and, with
the butt end resting on the ground, pulled the trig-
the shot took effect, the animal staggered back
eight or ten paces towards the dead one, while
by violent exertions, I disentangled myself from
my most uncomfortable position. I now perceived
Colonel L (who had heard the trumpeting)
hastening towards me, and returned with him to
see the position of an elephant which he had shot,
and which had died so instantaneously, that instead
of falling over, it remained where it sank down,
resting on its knees and head ; I afterwards heard
several instances of the same thing having occurred
in killing elephants.
When an elephant charges, he rushes headlong
forward with the trunk upright, at the same time
making a wild, loud, long-continued noise, resem-
bling the sound of a bad trumpet, and very different
from the deep hollow growl which he utters when
alarmed or slightly irritated.
It is necessary to know those parts of an ele-
phant's head, by hitting which your ball can reach
the brain ; for this occupies but a very small space
in proportion to the size of their skulls. It is also
necessary to take into consideration the height of
the elephant before you, relative to the position
in which you stand. A tall elephant advancing
straight upon you, if the ground be level and his
head erect, cannot receive a mortal hit, and it was
in this way that one in the vicinity of Gampola,
famed for the number of natives he had killed, is
said always to have advanced ; certain it is, he had
often escaped the punishment intended for his
numerous manslaughters, and was at last killed
while charging up a steep hill at a gentleman, who,
with only one gun, accidentally encountered him
in the dusk of the evening. Luckily, however, ad-
vancing with the head held up, when they approach
any obstacle, is not usual with elephants
and it
seems natural for them to lower their heads, and
curl up their trunks, when determined on overcom-
ing anything that obstructs their progress. Afraid
of injuring their trunk, they seldom strike with any
great force when they make use of it ; two instances
are all I have known to the contrary : one of these
was when a wounded elephant in running away,
struck and killed with one blow of its trunk an
unlucky buffalo that crossed its path. On another
occasion, an elephant that had turned and broken
through the line of beaters at an elephant-hunt in
Matale, reached up in passing and killed a man
who had taken refuge in a tree. The man had
hold with both his hands of a branch above that on
which he stood, and could easily have raised him-
self higher, but he was looking down, and consi-
dered himself beyond reach of danger : it was at
this moment that the elephant, stretching up, struck
the man with such force as to break both his thighs
and hurl him to the ground ; the elephant took no
further notice of his victim, but passed on : the man
lived but a few minutes.
A herd of elephants never charges en masse, al-
though affection for their young may induce some
of the females, if closely pursued, to tiu'n upon
the sportsman ; and on reaching very thick jungle
they generally turn round, either from feeling
themselves secure of a retreat, or afraid of being
overtaken in forcing their entrance. A hora alia,
rogue elephant, on the contrary, invariably main-
tains his position, and charges intruders, and often
with more cunning than can be perceived in their
more amiable actions. Near the old path to Trin-
komalee from Kandy, and close to the remote
station of Gonawe in Matele, one of these brutes
had taken his position in an extensive forest, from
which he occasionally sallied out and did much mis-
chief, having, amongst other acts of manslaughter,
killed one of the post-office runners. In conse-
quence, native travellers generally
passed the place
(before this elephant was destroyed) in groups,
which assembled at the nearest stations, and in
which commonly one or more persons carried fire-
These parties the animal always avoided;
but a young Malabar lad was killed by this brute
circumstances of premeditation and stealthy
cunning, more consonant to the habits of the
The lad had attached himself to the fol-
lowers of a gentleman who was proceeding
Kandy from Trinkomalee, and was walking a short
behind this gentleman's horse, and a little
way in advance of the coolies carrying the baggage,
when the elephant rushed out, seized, threw him
down, and trampled on him, then passed on into
the forest on the opposite side of the way. The
elephant had allowed the horse and those people
immediately around the gentleman to pass, and had
remained quite quiet, although naturally the most
restless and fidgety of living creatures, until he
found an easy victim
it must also be recollected
that elephants are almost invariably terrified at
horses, to which it is difficult to accustom them.
There are two methods of proceeding in shooting
elephants: one is to have them driven by natives
towards the place where the sportsman is stationed
the other, more sportsmanlike, also more dangerous
and fatiguing, is for the man to enter the jungle, in
which case the only risk is to himself and his im-
mediate followers, and he does not expose the lives
of those natives who are compelled to attend,* but
have neither interest nor amusement in the pro-
If elephants are to be driven, the
take his station on the sheltered side of the cover,
as otherwise, from the keen sense of smell
these animals possess, they would avoid
out of the jungle at the place of his
persons employed in driving, are sent in at the
opposite side, and form a curved line
beyond the
herd; after which, they advance yelling,
and beating tom-toms. Great care is necessary to
keep those persons who accompany the sportsman
perfectly still, that the elephants may not be turned
Compulsory service was abolished in 1833 by an order of
the King in Council.
back upon the beaters ; for the same reason, and
also as it gives a greater chance of sport, the leader
of a herd should be allowed to pass, as the others
will then endeavour to follow at all hazards, and
in the same direction. If it is a large herd which
is driven, the confusion of sounds and the gradual
approach of the ponderous massive tread of the
elephants, produce their full effect, from the silence
maintained around the anxious sportsman.
In shooting elephants by forcing up to them in
the jungle, the forenoon is the best time, as then
they are least inclined to move from the shade,
under which they may be seen flapping their ears,
crossing and rubbing their legs, swinging their
bodies; in short, always moving, unless alarmed
and listening, in which case they seem to trust
most to their sense of smell, and move their trunk
in every direction, trying to fix the point from
whence they may expect disturbance. If the wind
should favour them, after a short time the trunks
will be found pointed in the proper direction, and
the whole endeavour to steal off as quickly and
quietly as they can ; but never allowing any of the
young ones to fall behind. Elephants in dry wea-
ther, and during the heat of the day, are seldom
to be found without a leafy branch held in their
trunk ; this they employ in switching off the flies
by which they are especially tormented. When
lying down they sleep soundly, and may be easily
surprised ; but they do not often indulge in this
mode of rest, and generally recline against a tree
on which they have been rubbing themselves
the earth which they are continually scattering over
their bodies with their trunks, the trees are so mark-
ed as to enable those who are employed in watching
them to form an idea of the size of the largest
elephants in a herd. I seldom found the elephant-
hunters mistaken in their conjectures regarding
the size of the animals and numbers composing a
herd, although they may not have fallen in with
it ; as, besides the marks on the trees already
mentioned, they have a surer criterion in the
footmarks, which they can trace on the hardest
soil. Having entered the jungle, the sportsman
must proceed towards his game from the lee-side,
and with as little noise as possible ; but if on
his near approach the elephants have taken the
alarm, and are about to move oif, he must make
a dash forward, before they have time to turn
themselves round and commence their retreat.
unsuccessful in this, and unable to get a shot at
their heads, an active man by following them closely
(his progress being facilitated by the track they
leave) may sometimes succeed in overtaking and
causing them to turn upon him.
While relating occurrences in elephant-shooting,
I must not forget the anecdote told me by a friend,
one of the earliest of the real sporting elephant-
shots, who, being an excellent marksman, and pos-
sessed of strength, activity, and wonderful nerve,
had been particularly successful in that amusement.
Being on leave in England, this gentleman hap-
pened to mention in a party some ordinary fact
(I believe, that elephants were generally brought
down by the first shot of a good sportsman), when,
on looking round, he found the eyes of all present
turned full upon him ; he could easily perceive
the general incredulity, and felt that he was found
guilty without the possibility of making a defence.
As his only resource, he determined to back out
of the dilemma, and to enjoy the unbelieving igno-
rance of those around him, by asking, if they really
thought him serious when he mentioned such a
circumstance? They all declared they did not

that they were aware of its impossibility ! and

forthwith began quoting some passages in the war
which had lately terminated against Chuny of
Exeter 'Change. This had filled the newspapers
and occupied their readers for sometime; and
with the view and plan then published, has often
proved a subject of mirth to the sportsman in

the elephant ; B, a party of the Guards
also, a return of ammunition expended in the de-
struction of. an elephant confined in a cage.
After this, it would be unreasonable for me to
expect implicit credit for the fact that several in-
dividuals have killed nine elephants in one day,
or to publish that fifteen wild elephants were
actually docked by a gentleman in one forenoon.
The tail of the elephant, like the brush of a fox, is
the signal of success ; and, as well as the tusks (if
it be a tusker), belongs to whomsoever brings down
the animal. Several laughable scenes have occurred
by young sportsmen proceeding to dock the ele-
phants before making sure of their death : and T
know an instance where a gentleman, having shot
an elephant apparently in good health, was sur-
prised to find the operation had already been per-
his companion coming up soon after, and
producing the trophy, was requested to point out
the carcase from which he had cut the tail. He
proceeded to the spot, but the marks of blood were
all that remained to vouch for the fact of his hav-
ing amputated the tail of a live elephant.

The rifled urn, the violated mound.

Abstain from all sin, acquire all virtue, repress thine own
heart; this is Buddha's injunction.
Buddhism by Kitulgamma Unnanze.
Buddha's Tooth.

Splendid Procession,

the Tooth.

Its Caskets.

Its Sanctuary.

made to it.

Sacred Music.
Handsome temporary

Native Dresses.



the Kandian Kings.

Priests receiving

The Pavilion.

The Grounds and Scenery.


Buddhist Priesthood.
In the month of May 1828, I proceeded to
Kandy, and witnessed that brilliant Buddhist fes-
tival, the exhibition of the Dalada (tooth of
Buddha) ; an expiring blaze of the ancient worship
of Ceylon, whose beams even then gleamed flick-
ering and unstable, and will suddenly sink in dark-
ness, or surely and gradually fade before a brighter
light. From one district, at least, I know the num-
bers who attended at this Dalada Puja were pro-
cured by compulsion more than attracted by devo-
and that it was the dread of present punish-
ment, not the hope of spiritual benefit, by which
they were collected. I anticipate that Buddhism,
shorn of its splendour, unaided by authority, and
torn by internal dissension, will not long have
power to retain even its present slight control over
the actions of its votaries by the mere excellence
of its moral laws, and that it will fall into disuse
before Christianity is prepared to step into its
place, which for a time will be occupied by those
vile superstitions and demon worship to which the
Cingalese are so prone.
Fifty-three years had elapsed since the King
Kirti Sri had openly displayed the relic
and, from
the revolutions which had since taken place in the
country, but few people remembered the ceremony,
and still fewer had seen the Dalada, which they
believed to be the most sacred thing on earth, and
that only to see it proved their former merits by
their present good fortune.
On the 29th May 1828,
the three larger cases
having previously been removed, the relic contained
in the three inner caskets was placed on the back
of an elephant richly caparisoned : over it was the
Ransiwige, a small octagonal cupola, the top of
u 2
which was composed of alternate plain and gilt
silver plates, supported by silver pillars. When the
elephant appeared coming out of the temple-gate,
two lines of magnificent elephants, forming a double
line in front of the entrance, knelt down and thus
remained; while the multitude of people, joining
the points of their fingers, raised their arms above
their heads, and then bent forward, at the same
time uttering in full deep tones the shout of Sadhu
this, joined and increased by those at a distance,
swelled into a grand and solemn sound of adora-
tion. The elephant bearing the relic, followed by
the establishments of the temples with their ele-
phants, also those of the chiefs, after proceeding
through the principal streets of the town, returned
to the great bungaloe: here the first Adikar re-
moved the relic from the back of the elephant,
and conveyed it to the temporary altar on which
it was to be exhibited. The rich hangings were
now closed around the altar, and the three inner
cases opened in presence of Sir Edward Barnes
the Governor. The drapery being again thrown
open disclosed the tooth placed on a gold lotus
flower, which stood on a silver table : this was co-
vered with the different cases of the relic, various
gold articles and antique jewellery, the offerings
of former devotees.
Whether prompted by their own feelings, or im-
pelled by more weighty reasons to attend at this ex-
hibition, still the relic was evidently an object of in-
tense veneration to all the assembled Buddhists, and
by those of the Kandian provinces it is considered
the palladium of their country ; they also believe
the sovereign power of the island is attached to
its possessors. It is a piece of discoloured ivory,
slightly curved, nearly two inches in length, and
one inch in diameter at the base; from thence
to the other extremity, which is rounded and blunt,
it considerably decreases in size. The Dalada, as
we find in very ancient details of its adventures,
was discoloured when it arrived in Ceylon ^ that
a relic of Gautama should fade or decay was
at the time urged as an argument against its au-
but a miracle settled the dispute, and
silenced sceptics.
The sanctuary of this relic is a small chamber
in the temple attached to the palace of the
Kandian Kings ; and there the six cases in which
it is enshrined are placed on a silver table
hung round with rich brocades. The largest or
outside cover of these carandus (caskets) is five
feet in height, formed of silver gilt, and shaped in
the form of a dagoba :
the same form is preserv-
ed in the five inner cases, which are of gold ; two
of them, moreover, being inlaid with rubies and
other precious stones. The outer case is deco-
rated with many gold ornaments and jewels, which
have been offered to the relic, and serve to em-
bellish its shrine. In front of the silver altar on
which the tooth was exposed a plain table was
placed ; to this the people approached one at a
time, and, having seen the Dalada and deposited
their gifts, they prostrated themselves, then passed
on and made room for others. The offerings con-
sisted of things the most heterogeneous: gold chains
and gold ornaments
gold, silver, and copper coins
of all denominations ; cloths, priest's vestments,
flowers, sugar, areka-nuts, betel-leaves. The Da-
lada was exhibited and the offerings continued for
three successive days. On the second day some
wretched specimens of the science of defence were
exhibited before the Governor, both with fists and
also with wooden swords and targets : on the fourth
night there was a display of native fire-works,
well made and skilfully managed. Night and day,
without intermission, during the continuance of
this festival, there was kept up a continual din of
tom-toms, and sounding of Kandian pipes and
chanque shells. The Kandian pipe is a musical
The bell-sliaped buildings raised over tlie relics of Buddha.
instrument in power and melody nearly resembling
a penny whistle : but the ehanque is a shell with
a mouth-piece attached, and, under the influence
of powerful lungs, is a most efficient instrument
for producing a noise which was called music ; its
tones varying between the bellowings of a chained
bull and the howling of a forsaken dog. I pre-
sume the natives consider these sounds peculiarly
adapted for their sacred music, as such instruments
are to be found in all temples, and may be heard
at all hours, to the dire annoyance of any Euro-
pean who attempts to sleep in their neighbour-
The principal temporary building was two hun-
dred and fifty feet in length, of proportionate
breadth, and supported by six lines of pillars,it
was under this that the tooth was exhibited; and
the whole was ornamented with palm branches,
plantain-trees, fruit and flowers : so gracefully were
these disposed, that the columns in the variety of
their decorations, and some even in unity of ef-
fect, presented combinations which, if transferred
to stone, would rival any specimen of elaborate
Corinthian architecture. In the brilliant pageantry
of this festival, the rich altar and resplendent orna-
ments of the relic, the great size and elegant deco-
rations of the temporary buildings, the peculiar
and picturesque dresses of the chiefs, the majestic
elephants, and dense mass of people, threw an air
of imposing grandeur over the spectacle, to which
the old temples, sacred trees, and the wild and
beautiful scenery around the Kandian capital form-
ed an appropriate landscape. These combinations
were rendered still more impressive by the dis-
turbed state of the elements ; for an extraordinary
gloom and tempestuous weather continued during
the whole time of the exhibition, and the torrents
of. rain which fell at that time caused the loss of
many lives, and destroyed much property, in vari-
ous parts of the island.
The court-dress of a Kandian Adikarminister
of state and justiceconsists of a square cap resem-
bling a huge pincushion, sometimes made of white
stiffened muslin, but in full-dress of scarlet cloth
embroidered with gold, and having an elevated peak
in the middle, surmounted by a precious stone. The
jacket is of tissue, with short plaited sleeves, very
full upon the shoulders, and fastened with amethyst
buttons ; over this is worn a white tippet of plaited
muslin, with gold edging. On the lower part of
the body, over white trowsers, which are tight at
the ankle and terminated by a frill, a number of
white muslin and gold figured cloths are bound in
cumbrous folds round the V^ist
by a broad gold
belt ; in this is stuck a knife with a richly carved
handle. Gold chains are worn round the neck and
hanging down upon the chest, bangles on the
wrists, and immense rings, which almost conceal
their small hands, complete the decoration of a
Kandian Adikar.
The dress of the other chiefs differed but little
from that of the Adikars, except that their caps
were white and circular. The peculiar and dis-
insignia of Adikars are their silver
stick, and immense whips eight or ten feet in
length, two inches in breadth, (made of the
fibres of a plant like strong hemp,) and produc-
ing a report almost equal to firing a pistol ; seven
of these emblems of power and punishment were
borne by as many men, who announced the coming,
and effectually cleared the way for the first Adikar.
Before each chief, hammered and squalled the
tom-toms, pipes, and sometimes a little squeaking
trumpet belonging to the district over which he
presided. Each district, and in some cases each
division of a district, had a separate flag, which was
borne before the great man. Near him remained
confidential servant with a large silver betel-
and he was followed by persons carrying
long-handled fans, (which were used as parasols,)
guns, and ornamented sticks, spears, and bows.
The "tail" was composed of the people of the
district, and the personal retainers of the chief.
The dress of the chiefs and their wives is very
similar; only, the ladies have their cloths bound
tighter to their shape, have no head-dress, and
wear gold ornaments in their hair. Although some,
particularly in the highest rank of females, are
handsome, and most of the sex are comely when
very young, yet they are comparatively inferior in
appearance to the men. Both sexes, of all ranks
except the lowest, have their hair long, divided
smooth from the middle of the forehead, and turned
up in a knot ; that of the men on the back of the
head, while the women allow theirs to rest on the
neck as far down as the shoulders. They have
expressed to me their surprise at seeing European
ladies with their hair curled, as it was one of the
practices which they could not in any way ac-
count for; amongst themselves, the slightest ten-
dency to a curl in their hair being considered a
blemish. The distinction of ranks amongst both
men and women was designated by the length of
their cloth above or below the knee ; in women a
farther distinction was covering the bosom, or leav-
ing the figure entirely exposed from the waist
The town of Kandy is judiciously planned, and
the present regular arrangement of the streets was
marked out by the Adikars under the direction
of the King ; the streets all run in straight lines,
but do not cross at right angles. It is situated
on an angular piece of ground, with the base rest-
ing on two lakes which were formed by the late
King. The buildings remaining from the time of
the native dynasty are several temples of Buddha
and two colleges, at one of which every Kan-
dian priest ought to be ordained : there are also
temples to the gods Nata, Vishnu, Katragamma,
and the goddess Patine; but there is nothing
worthy of remark either in their architecture or
In the audience-hall, now used as a court-house
and church, are some well-carved pillars of halmila
wood : the trees from which they were formed were
cut and squared near Nalande ; from thence they
were dragged over a hilly country, and up a steep
mountain, the whole distance being upwards of
thirty miles. The other remains of the palace and
buildings inhabited by the royal establishment were,
without exception, mean, and equally destitute of
internal comfort and external beauty; the most
striking object is a low octagonal tower with a
peaked roof, from a balcony in which the King
exhibited himself on occasions of public festivity.
Wikrama Bahoo the Third, who reigned from
A.D. 1371 to 1378, was the first monarch who
settled himself even temporarily at Kandy, then
called, from a large rock which projects from the
hill above the old palace, Sengadda-galla-nuvara
but it did not become the permanent capital of the
interior until the reign of Wimala Dharma, which
commenced a.d. 1592, and it continued the chief
city until the native Government fell before the
British power in 1815.
The burial-ground of the Kandian Kings can-
not be viewed without exciting reflections on the
revolutions which alike occur to man's estate and
the most ancient monarchies. Ere the last of
one of the longest lines of Kings which authen-
tic history records had so far expiated his crimes,
and received his measure of earthly retribution
for the cruelties he had inflicted, by suffering a
long imprisonment and an exile's death, the solid
tombs of his predecessors were ransacked by the
hands of avarice, or riven in sunder and ruined
by the swelling roots of sacred trees. This hal-
lowed spot, where the funeral piles were raised,
the last grand solemn rites performed, and the
last of earthly pomp and splendour was shown
to the remains
of the race of the sun " .and
the rulers of the land, is now a wilderness, where
decay revels and rushes rapidly on beneath dank
vegetation and a gloomy shade. The tomb of Raja
Singha, the tyrant who reigned during Knox's cap-
tivity in the seventeenth century, was nearly per-
fect, and preserved its shape in May 1828
that of
Kirti Sri was then entire. In 1837 the former
was a heap of rubbish, from which the stones had
been removed ; and the beautiful proportions, even
the general form of the latter, could no longer be
traced. Hopes of plunder, or unmeaning wanton-
ness, at the time when Kandy was entered by the
British, precipitated the fate of these monuments
neglected as they now are, there is nothing
to re-
tard it ; and a few years will show, mingled in one
common mould, the crumbling wreck of the tombs
and the dust of their royal tenants.
During the continuance of the Dalada festival, the
priests of Buddha, in different communities, headed
by the seniors of their establishments, seemed to
think it incumbent upon them to perambulate
town with their begging-dishes, and to go through
the ceremony of receiving alms. These parties mov-
ed on slowly with their fans before their faces, occa-
sionally halting to receive whatever food was offered
to them, but not asking for it. It appeared to me
that this was evidently more of a temporary pen-
ance than a regular practice, although to live by
alms is enjoined by the rules of their order. Their
sleek faces and sly looks also spoke of better fare
elsewhere with less trouble and more
than wandering in heavy rain through
Kandy, and waiting for supplies from the more
devout portion of those professing the Buddhist
An idea of the wooded nature of the environs
of Kandy may be given, when I state that at this
time, 1828, almost every night, elk might be heard
belling in the thick jungle behind the Governors
cottage, and a leopard was drowned in a well near
the middle of the tovm ; into this it had tumbled
while attempting to carry off a calf, which escaped
and recovered. Since then the Governor's resi-
dence, the Pavilion as it is commonly called, has
been built : although not completed to the original
extent of the architect's* plan, it is a handsome and
commodious building, combining in an uncommon
degree the comforts necessary for a tropical climate
with an elegant exterior; it is all incrusted with
a preparation of fine lime, which takes a good
polish, and has the appearance of white marble.
This building was erected under the government
and superintendence of Sir Edward Barnes ; and
the grounds were afterwards laid out in the time
of his successor. Sir R. Wilmot Horton. From the
road, which winds round the wooded hills imme-
diately behind the Pavilion, and which is now
Captain, now Lieutenant-colonel Brown, R. E.
known by the name of Lady Horton's road, there
is a succession of landscapes, as you proceed, which
I should imagine to be unequalled in richness of
foliage and variety of scene. The course of the
rapid Mahavilla-ganga winds below ; the green hills
and forest-clad
mountains, rising to a height of up-
wards of six thousand feet, lie beyond
and this,
with clumps of palmyra, tufts of cocoa-nut trees,
and every variety of forest foliage, is the first of
these scenes, which continue as you proceed round
the walk, until Kandy and its lakes lie beneath your
feet. The road has a branch to communicate with
one which winds round the upper lake of Kandy,
an additional distance of about two miles. The
lake of Kandy is sixteen hundred and seventy-
eight feet above the level of the sea. Mattan
Pattanna, the hill immediately over it, is three
thou^nd one hundred and ninety-two.
The rocky
ridge of Hantanna, about a mile farther off, is four
thousand three hundred and eighty.
Peak four thousand nine hundred and ninety,
Knuckles six thousand one hundred and eighty,
Diatalawe five thousand and thirty, Aloogalla
thousand four hundred and forty, and
and Pannegaum about four thousand feet, are all
remarkable features in the views seen from Lady
Horton's walk.
The four great roads wjiich enter Kandy, viz.
the Colombo, Trinkomalee, Badoolla, and Kurunai-
galla roads, were undertaken, and most of them
completed, under the government of Sir Edward
In the neighbourhood of Kandy, as the temples
are generally kept in better repair, and the propei
ceremonies are more attended to, I shall describe
a complete Buddhist establishment, such as the
Ganga-rama (river temple) and others in the vicinity
of the town. The dagoba is a solid bell-shaped
building, built over some relic of Gautama ; the
wihare is the temple in which, before one or more
statues of Buddha, the offerings are placed and
prayers are chaunted; the poyag6 is the house in
which the priests should examine each other and
instruct the people; the pansola, a dwelling for
the priests. The sacred bo-tree, a slip or seed ori-
ginally from that at Anuradhapoora, is planted on
an elevated terrace, and surrounded with a wall
on which are small altars to receive the offerings
of flowers ; for the bo-tree is, equally with the
images of Buddha, an emblem to recall to the
minds of the people the founder of their religion.
The whole of these are generally surrounded by
a wall, in which are numerous niches for contain-
ing lamps, to be lighted on particular festivals by
those who make oiFerings.
Before concluding this account of my first visit
to Kandy, and of the exhibition of the supposed
relic of Gautama Buddha, I shall give a brief ac-
count of the Buddhist priesthood, and of the moral
laws of a religion, the excellence and simplicity of
which may astonish those who have only heard it
mentioned to be condemned as an impure, cruel,
and unintelligible portion of Paganism. That des-
pots professing the religion of Buddha have been
often cruel, cannot be denied ; that its admirable
laws have little power to control his nominal fol-
lowers, may be admitted; yet it is unfair to charge
Buddhism with the crimes of those who disobey
its injunctions, defy its commandments, and dare
its threats of future punishment. The history of
Christianity proves how the symbol of peace may
be used as the standard of war and the signal
for slaughter; and it is difficult to imagine what
Christianity might ere now have become, if Europe
had continued unblest by the art of printing,* and
had been cursed with the distinction of caste.
The religion of Gautama Buddha enjoins its
followers to place reliance on Buddha, his reli-
gion, and its priesthood. It enjoins also just con-
versation, and strict adherence to veracity :
Just conduct, and incessantly endeavouring to
counteract the effects of former sin by the practice
of active virtues
Printing certainly checked priestcraft in its career over the
subjugated minds of Christian Europe, when, from excessive
use, miracles had ceased to be wonders, and the canonization
of a saint was more common than the creation of a city knight.
Caste, although repugnant to Buddhism, was upheld from policy
by the rulers of Ceylon; and if it opposes any rapid retro-
gradation in the arts, it is equally effectual in preventing im-

Just living, earning a livelihood by honest means
To reverence priests and your parents
To give alms, particularly to the priesthood
Forgiveness of injuries is also inculcated as a
matter of wisdom as well as of virtue.
This religion forbids its followers

To envy their neighbour, or covet his pro-

perty :
To follow the worship of false gods
To commit adultery
To indulge in unprofitable conversation, or use
irritating or unbecoming language
To destroy any animate being
To sell the flesh of animals, or rear them for
To trade in deadly weapons, or fabricate instru-
ments of war, or anything to be used in the de-
struction of life
To trade in poisons :
To use, prepare, or sell intoxicating liquors :
To traffic in human beings
to sell one's children,
or transfer a slave :
To receive bribes
The priests of Buddha ought to subsist by alms only : this
has induced them to clog many parts of history with the prolix
accounts of alms given to priests and gifts bestowed on tem-
ples. It is not uncommon, in the account of a great monarch
or fortunate individual, to find the principal part occupied by a
tiresome detail of the alms he gave when animating some former
body ; and this is made out to be the cause of his enjoying ease
and splendour in his later transmigration.
To deprive any one of his property by violence,
fraud, or deception
To tell a falsehood, or use words to conceal the
Gautama thus sums up the duties of mankind:

"Abstain from all sin, acquire all virtue,* repress

thine own heart." This is unobjectionable
how feeble, cold, and inefficient, compared with
the summary of Christianity contained in the
words, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with
all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all
thy mind ; and thou shalt love thy neighbour as
The doctrine of transmigration as believed by
the Buddhists of Ceylon is, that, before attain-
ing Neerwane, they will have to become perfect
in the course of an incalculable number of in-
carnations in various shapes. It is thus describ-
ed :
Even as one's shadow attends only on his
own person, and never on that of another, so
whatever merit one may have acquired, or what-
ever demerit he may have incurred, adheres to
that identical individual alone, and, following him
into futurity, superinduces appropriate retribution."
Gautama has compared the mortal body to a vessel ex-
ternally bright and beautiful, but abounding with impurities.
Again, he has compared it to a pool of water which teems with
Unanze's Compendium of Buddhism,
translated by Mr, Armour.
X 2
They believe that a man may be born again as the
greatest of earthly sovereigns, or as the most loath-
some of the lesser insects ; to revel in every en-
joyment, or to suffer
all those ills that flesh is
heir to."
It is unfair to conceal, and in vain to deny, that
peace and pure morality are enjoined by the reli-
gion of Gautama as well as by Christianity ; the
latter exerts its influence over the minds of its
followers not only by the perfection of its laws,
but from the nature of its promises, so consonant
to the hopes of man and the mercy of God. The
moral duties which Christianity inculcates, the
warnings in prosperity, the consolations in adver-
sity, might all pass unheeded or unfelt, if it were
not for the faint though clear light which it has
shed on realms beyond the limit of the grave.
That the promises or the threats held out by the
religion of Gautama Buddha are insuflficient to
encourage to good, or deter from evil courses, may
be owing to the remote period at which Neer-
wane is finally to be attained. Transmigration,
even the animation of other human bodies, is too
favourable a doctrine for those who wish to delay
repentance, or the performance of strictly moral
duties : he who expects to appear again in different
forms will naturally reserve for them that strict
propriety of conduct which may be more grateful
to his future shapes than he feels it is to the
body he now animates.
Whatever may be the
cause, the effect is certain, viz. that the moral sys-
tem of Buddha has but little influence over the
mass of his followers.
A novice intended for the Buddhist church is
generally brought up from early youth by some
priest, to whose temple, after acquiring sufficient
knowledge, and undergoing the necessary exami-
nations, he is destined to succeed : youth, however,
is not a necessary qualification in the aspirant, and
old men may sometimes be seen studying their
rudiments with more perseverance than success.
The junior pupils of a priest are often not above
eight or ten years of age, as it is supposed that from
early habit they will more easily become recon-
ciled to the regularity and privations which they
must, or at least ought to encounter, after enter-
ing into the priesthood
as it is easier to restrain
an inclination to vices or passions, than to conquer
them after they have already exerted their domi-
nion. Although the religious policy of Buddhism
requires celibacy from the priests, yet it does not
suppose the form of consecration to be of that
powerful and mysterious nature which endows the
initiated with a character of perpetual sanctity, so
that his own wish or crimes may not allow him if
weak, or force him if unworthy, to retire from a
situation whose ordinances he is unable to fulfil,
or which his wickedness would pollute. The form
of laying aside the yellow robe is simple,

beyond throwing it into ^the river ; and this brings
no disgrace on the person who does so without
crime or compulsion : in fact, from the learning
they must have acquired, they are generally held
in more respect than those who have always re-
mained laymen.
The dress of a priest consists of a long yellow
robe folded round the body, the end thrown over
the left shoulder, and leaving the neck and right
arm exposed: his head and eyebrows are shaved,
but the necessity of this operation, as regards the
eyebrows, is one of the points in dispute in a
schism which now rages in the Buddhist church
in Ceylon. In the religion of Buddha they have
an institution bearing some slight resemblance to
a Sunday ; it is called Poya : the people ought, and
the priests sometimes do observe it, and
four times a month at the changes of the moon,
for the purpose of mutual instruction and the
encouragement of religious feeling.
somewhat resembles Lent, and continues for three
months : previous to its commencement the people
prepare a large building, called Banage, (from Bana,
their sacred scriptures; and ge, a house,) sufficient
to protect the congregation, which assembles at
night to hear the doctrines of their religion ex-
pounded by some learned priest whom they select
for the occasion, and who is generally assisted by
several others of less eminence in the church. The
principal priest must not be absent from his sta-
tion for more than six days at a time during the
continuance of the Wass ; and at its termination it
is usual for his hearers to present him with a new
robe, a fan, and walking-stick. In the Kappu-
puja (cotton offering) sometimes made to priests,
the Buddhists clean and spin the cotton, and weave
and dye the cloth before mid-day, at which time
the offering of the robe is made to the priest.
We find from Herodotus, that, in a feast con-
nected with the worship of Ceres, the ministers of
the solemnity had a vest woven within the space
of a day.
After attending as a page and pupil on the priest
of a wihare for three years, the novice may be ex-
amined, and, if found qualified, is admitted into the
lowest or Samanairia order of priesthood : at the
age of twenty, if he can pass an examination in
one of the colleges at Kandy, he is admitted to
upasampada (ordination). Every priest is attached
to a wihare, which generally descends from the
incumbent to the senior pupil ; but some wihares
are in the gift of Government, and others are at
the disposal of lay proprietors. Such priests as
aspire to the highest dignities in their church
make themselves acquainted with the Burma and
Siam alphabets, and can thus compare and study
the versions of sacred Pali literature in those as
well as in the Cingalese form of letters. By these
qualifications, conjoined to other requisites, they
may succeed in being elected to the situations of
chief priests of the Asgiri and Malwatte colleges
at Kandy ; to one or other of which establishments
every priest ought to belong. There is also a se-
cond high-priest to each of these foundations
and in the provinces some particular temples are
considered to give a superior rank to their pos-
sessors while in their own district; as Anuradha-
poora, Dambool in Matale, Ridi-wihare in the
Seven Korles, and Mulgiri-galla in the southern
part of the maritime provinces. Besides being
correct in moral conduct, a priest cannot be or-
dained unless he be free from bodily deformity,
and from leprosy or any visible disease. The pro-
hibitions and ordinances enjoined as the rules of
conduct to those who become priests of Buddha
are extremely severe, and include all corporeal
gratifications or common comforts ; they are di-
rected to look for happiness only in a correct
discharge of their duties, and in the tranquillity of
mind obtained by the contemplation of virtue and
the hope of obtaining Neerwane. Now-a-days, be-
sides the spiritual pride engendered by this sys-
tem, and the rank which priests hold in the
country, (for no native, whatever be his rank or
situation, can sit in presence of a priest, nor pass
one without saluting him as a superior,) they
very generally evade the strict performance of dis-
agreeable duties, and many neglect the self-deny-
ing ordinances for the more captivating employ-
ments of laymen, and the unscrupulous accumu-
lation of property ; not a few, if I may judge
from their practice, consider that tranquillity of
the mind may be happily promoted by comforts
of the body.
Baal next and Ashtaroth,
And all th' idolatries of Heathen round.

Kandian Festivals.
the New Year.

Priests' Ordination.

The Peraherra,


New Rice.

Gods worshipped in Ceylon.

Unknmvn God,


Demon Worship.


Offerings to AncesUyrs.

Ceremonies at naming
Children. Marriage Ceremonies.

Funeral Ceremonies.



Buddha Rays,
Besides the Dalada Puja, which, as I have al-
ready stated, was a rare occurrence, five annual
festivals were celebrated by the King and chiefs
in Kandy, with all the pomp and splendour that
their circumstances could afford, or custom allow
them to extort from those under their control.
Although ordained for religion, and in honour of
the gods, the festivals were also a source of profit
to the native Kings, and a cherished rule of their
policy. As the chiefs were obliged to attend, their
periodical visits enabled the King to levy exactions
on the estate, or to secure the person, of any in-
fluential or turbulent headman, who in his own
district might have braved the power of the King
and defied arrest. These five festivals are still kept
up ; and although they are now only tolerated, not
encouraged, and without the show of regal state
or compulsory attendance, still the Peraherra is an
imposing spectacle.
The festival of the New Year is in April, and at
that time the Cingalese indulge in the few amuse-
ments which they enjoy, and in such luxuries as
they can afford. Before New Year's Day, every
individual procures from an astrologer a writing,
fixing the fortunate hours of the approaching
year on which to commence duties or ceremonies
and to the most minute points of these instruc-
tions he religiously adheres, believing that even an
involuntary omission of any prescribed act at the
appointed moment would render him liable to mis-
fortunes. The following is an abridgement, omit-
ting the astrological lore, of one of the annual
documents, prepared for my benefit by the astro-
loger of Matale, who also took care to inform me
of all eclipses, and to give me special instructions
in writing how to avoid those misfortunes which
they might occasion.
The emblem of the ap-
proaching year will be a red lion seated erect on
a horse, and
proceeding from an aperture resem-
bling the mouth of a horse
this will be at the
commencement of the year, nine hours and fifty-
four minutes after sunset : at this fortunate mo-
ment milk should be boiled at each of the four
sides of the house." Next day I was directed to
look to the north while dimbul leaves were sus-
pended over my head, and with kolon leaves placed
under my feet: then, having anointed myself with
different juices and aromatic drugs, I was to dress
myself in perfumed clothes of red, white, and blue
then to look to the south, and cause fire
to be lighted and cooking to begin. On the second
day, at two hours and a half after sunrise, I was
to commence eating victuals prepared with pounded
salt and curdled milk. At twenty-seven hours,*
while looking to the east, I was recommended to
begin business by paying or receiving money. The
whole concluded with a prediction, that, from the
situation of the planets and other cogent reasons, I
might expect both good and evil to happen during
the year which was about to commence.
The second festival was held in the month of
May, and was principally remarkable as being more
essentially Buddhist than any of the others : during
this festival such Samanairia priests as passed their
examinations received upasampada (ordination).
The third festival, called by pre-eminence Pera-
herra (The procession), commenced with the new
moon, and continued until the full moon in July
sometimes longer, if the procession was interrupted
The Cingalese divide their day into sixty hours of sixty
minutes each.
by meeting with a dead body of any animal, or any
object considered unclean. The procession regu-
larly increased in splendour every night until the
last ; at which time it was very imposing, from the
multitude of people, rich dresses, brilliant lights,
and large elephants. The arms and other relics
of the gods were carried either on elephants or
in palanquins ; and, on the last night, the casket
containing the Dalada, borne by an elephant, ac-
companied the procession to the limits of the town,
and rested at the Gedige wihare, near the tombs of
the kings, whilst the remainder of the procession
passed on to the Mahawelli-ganga at Ganorooa,
three miles from Kandy. There the four Kapu-
ralls of the temples of Vishnu, Nata, Katragam-
ma, and Patine embarked on the river in orna-
mented canoes, and awaited the first dawn of day
then, drawing a circle in the water with their
golden swords, they filled pitchers of holy water
from within the magic ring, and the procession re-
turned to the city. The different chiefs of districts
and temples, with their elephants and followers,
were then permitted to return to their provinces
and there, at some particular temples, the same
procession on a limited scale took place.
The fourth festival, called the Festival of Lamps,
was celebrated on the day before full moon in
November : the whole town was illuminated on
this occasion; and the immense number of niches
alongside of the canal in front of the palace, as
well as in the side of the lake, being filled with
lamps, had a brilliant effect from the reflections in
the water.
The fifth festival was called the Festival of New
Rice : it was held in January, and appears to have
been intended as a propitiatory offering at the
commencement of the maha (great) harvest ; for
the Cingalese, judging from their own feelings,
consider that an offering at the commencement
is more likely to secure favour than an expected
thanksgiving at the end of an undertaking.
The gods to whom these processions are prin-
cipally dedicated are, Saman (Vishnu), Nata, Ka-
tragamma, and the goddess Patine. Wibhisana,
who is retained as a god at Kellania and in the
vicinity of Colombo, is never heard of in Kandy.
Vishnu is worshipped in his form of Ramachandra,
and his statues are painted blue. Of Nata's history
I could learn nothing with certainty ; his statues
are painted white. Katragamma is the same as
Kartickya (Mars), and has received the name by
which he is now worshipped in Ceylon from the
place where his principal temple is situated, which
is at the village of Katragamma, at the south-east of
the island. He is more feared than the other gods
and many of his votaries lose their health, and even
their lives, in a pilgrimage through the unhealthy
country which surrounds his malignant shrine. His
priests are Brahmins ; and, in the rebellion of 1818,
they were the zealous assistants of the pretender
who called himself King, and was the puppet of the
rebel chief
The goddess Patine is, I believe, the same as
Durga, and is invoked to protect her votaries
from small-pox.
Wibhisana was the brother of Rawana ; and,
having assisted Rama in his invasion of the
island, was, on the defeat and death of Rawana,
placed on the throne of Ceylon, and reigned at
To the list of gods the name of Mahasen (com-
monly called
Minneria-deyo) may be added, who,
in the vicinity of Minneria, and in several parts
of Matale, where temples have been reared to him,
maintains his reputation as well as Vishnu or any
of the more ancient and generally acknowledged
deities. As Mahasen is a name of Katragamma
as well as of the great Cingalese King, it is difficult
to say whether these temples were originally dedi-
cated to him ; but I presume they were, and that
King Mahasen has no legitimate claim to deifica-
tion. However, in the temples of Mahasen the
same warlike furniture may be found as in those
of other gods ; and the gigantic tanks and bridges
formed under his superintendence give him a better
claim to immortal gratitude than those who are
only known by name as kings, heroes, and gods,
although they may have conferred similar benefits
on earlier ages.
When Gautama Buddha visited Ceylon, Saman
appears to have been particularly
shipped, also Eiswara and Wibhisana ; and offerings
were made to planets, ancestors, and demons.
The powers and attributes of the gods and de-
mons of the Cingalese are not well defined ; there
are vices and crimes charged in the history of the
gods, while the devils seem to respect the virtues
which they do not practise, and their forbearance
must be purchased by offerings and propitiatory
The wild and wooded nature of the
island, and the now thinly scattered
naturally tend to superstition
and it may be per-
ceived by the native histories, that, when the coun-
try was most prosperous and populous, the Buddhist
religion was maintained in the greatest purity.
In the temples of the gods there is always some
relic, generally connected with arms, such as bows,
spears, or arrows; and if any person wished to
erect a temple, he, by pretended inspiration, astro-
logy, or other deception, proceeded to discover,
with much ceremony and mystery, an arrow of the
god, or some such relic, which had been hid in the
spot selected for the building. The will of the
god having been thus miraculously ascertained, the
work was commenced ; and, by permission of the
King, land might be dedicated to the establishment,
and have the same privileges as a Buddhist temple.
The Kapuralls, or priests of a god's temple, require
no other qualification than having sufficient cunning
to dupe the superstitious, and bodily strength enough
to enable them to go through the violent exertions
and vile contortions which they exhibit, and de-
nominate dancing and inspiration. The perform-
ance of all these ceremonies is accompanied by tom-
toms, pipes, chanque-shells, halamba (hollow metal
rings), and other noises, which they denominate
musical. Over the principal temples are placed
laymen of rank, who have charge of the revenues
and are guardians of the relics ; these chiefs do not
take any part in the laborious exertions and insane
excitement which, in this superstition, are supposed
to propitiate the spirit that is invoked.
I discovered a temple in Matale to the Abudha
Deiyo (unknown god),* and found he was patron of
secret villany (Mercury).
The images of the gods are only formed of plaster
and brick, neither is their workmanship or design
worthy of better materials
and if this worship and
its idols were to disappear, the arts would have no
cause to mourn, and morality might rejoice at the
extinction of an impure superstition, which has
much to debase and nothing to elevate its votaries.
Amongst the infernal or malignant spirits enu-
merated by the Cingalese, some may be found as
heroes who fought on the losing side in the wars
of Rama and Rawana ; others are national misfor-
tunes, or bodily afflictions,
to which terror has
Acts xvii. 23.
assigned a form. Thus they have the red-eyed

pestilence, which carried off a great pro-

portion of the inhabitants in the reign of Sirisan-
gabo in the third century ; also demons of the forest
and the flood, tempest and malaria ; demons which
sport in the strong scent of unwholesome blossom-
bearing trees ; demons of the Sohon Pola (ceme-
tery), who reside in tombs and rove through bury-
ing-grounds. There are, besides these, numerous
personifications of natural afflictions or mental ter-
rors. The belief in the power of these evil spirits,
making them propitiatory offerings, and sacrificing
a red cock* for the purpose of averting and re-
pelling threatened misfortunes, are very general; al-
though many, who follow these unhallowed rites in
secret, loudly condemn them in public. Demon
worship, although denounced by Gautama Buddha,
was acknowledged by various Kings of Ceylon : Pan-
duwas B.C. 500, Sirisangabo a.d. 239, Bojas a.d. 340,
and others, made royal edicts in favour of or re-
gulating demon worship.
Planets, by the Cingalese, are believed to be con-
trolling spirits, for whom certain ceremonies and
incantations are prescribed to be performed by
those who at certain periods are supposed to be
In 1305 Dame Alice Ketyll was charged with having
sacrificed nine red cocks to her familiar spirit or imp.

Researches in the South
subjected to their malignant influence : these cere-
monies are called Bali,* and appear to be a combi-
nation of astrology with demon worship ; Bali is
used to express sacrifice to the planets or to de-
mons, also offerings to deceased ancestors. Balia
is an image of clay, made and worshipped by a per-
son suffering under sickness or misfortune : it is
supposed to represent the controlling planet under
which such person was born ; and for this purpose,
as well as on most occasions of importance, his han-
dahana, an astrological document with which every
Kandian is provided, and which contains his horo-
scope, is submitted to the inspection of an astro-
loger, who directs the necessary ceremonies.
Not only the Veddas, with whom it is general,
but a great proportion of the population, make of-
ferings to ancestors and disembodied spirits of the
virtuous dead. The antiquity of these ceremonies
may be ascertained from the Ramayan, in which
we find it stated that the efficiency of a son's vir-
tues, and a pilgrimage to Gaya, were sufficient to
release a parent from hell. The offerings to an-
cestors appear to be intended for the double pur-
These ceilemonies are always at night, and conclude be-
fore break of day. Victuals always form part of the offering;
and the whole ceremony, as well as the name, seems to be the
same superstition as that of Bel and the Dragon. Bali, the
^controlling planets; and the Dragon, Rahu, the causer of
Y 2
pose of propitiating ancestral spirits, and relieving
them from a species of purgatory.
The following account of the Rice-feast, which
takes place when a child receives its name, and of
the Kandians' Marriage-feast, are copied from notes
furnished to me by the Honourable Mr. Turnour,
and made by him when agent in Saffragam, at a
time when these ceremonies were more scrupu-
lously attended to than in later years.
The Rice-feast is so called from its being the
first instance in which rice is placed in the mouth
of an infant ; and on this occasion the individual
name is conferred on the child. The time appointed
for the observance of this ceremony, as well as of
the most trifling acts of ordinary life,as the start-
ing on a journey, the building a hut, the sowing
a field or planting a garden,must depend on the
dictation of an astrologer. The selection must fall
on some day in the fifth, ninth, or eleventh month
after the child's birth.
For this occasion the mother of the infant re-
ceives a
measure of fine paddy, which she beats
into rice with her own hands, and cooks herself.
Among families of the first rank, as they are un-
accustomed to such exertion, the mother holds
the child on her left arm, while she drops the rice-
pounder seven times on the grain in the mortar.
This is also the commencement of the ceremony
with those who go through the entire process of
preparing the meal. A cloth is spread, on which
is laid the tender leaf of a plantain to receive
the rice prepared by the mother, or the woman
who represents her, should the mother be ill or
From provisions prepared by other hands a re-
past is served up to the relations and friends of
the family who attend the ceremony, according to
the circumstances of the host. When this is over,
they assemble round the leaf on which the child's
rice has been placed. Each according to his means
deposits near the leaf a few coins, or some little
trinket, which is intended as a present for the child.
"The infant is then brought forward (arrayed
for the first time in the best clothing allowed to
its rank) by the mother, and placed near the pre-
sents and the victuals prepared for it ; from which
the child is allowed to help itself according to its
own taste, or rather as it may be guided by accident.
The mother then places some rice in its mouth.
"The selection of the name also rests with the
astrologer, in which he is guided by certain rules.
From the terms by which the ruling planet of that
moment is defined he has to take three initial con-
sonants with their inherent vowels, for in chaste
Cingalese, as in Pali, a scrupulous regard is paid
to euphony; and these three initials are required
to form a dactyle. A name so concocted must
often be inapplicable to the condition in life which
the infant is destined to occupy ; the lower orders
dare not, and the higher would be ashamed in many
instances to avow the name assigned. It is not,
therefore, allowed to transpire, and is only known
to the astrologer and the father of the child.
At the precise moment fixed on by the astro-
loger, and while the mother is feeding the child,
the father approaches and whispers the name in
his ear, and then blows into it : so completely is
the name buried in oblivion, that not one person in
a hundred is able to say what his real rice-name is.
As the child grows up, some other name is
fixed upon, referring generally to the order in
which he was born, or to his complexion,as Loku,
Maduma, middle
Punchy, little ; Ratu, red
Kalu, black : to which names, from the caste of
artificers upwards, an addition is made of Naide-
hamy, Appoohamy, or Banda, to define his pre-
cise rank. To call these appellations rice-names,
therefore, is erroneous; but it has been the uni-
versal practice to do so."
Marriage among Buddhists, when contracted in
due form, is preceded
by the observance of many
ceremonies and precautionary steps. Nothing that
has a semblance of an option or pre- agency being
left to the woman, the rejection of an offer of
marriage is attended with more inconvenience than
the ridicule cast on the rejected lover in a differ-
ently constituted society ; as the objection must ne-
cessarily lie against his character, or want of equal
family rank.
"To avoid this dilemma, a very convenient pro-
ceeding is adopted ; it consists in getting some con-
fidential friend to insinuate to the woman's family
that a report of the marriage is abroad. If the
intended bridegroom be objectionable on either of
the two considerations before noticed, the family
will indignantly refute the report, and the conve-
nient friend joins in the resentment, and wonders
at the idle gossip of the village ; but, should the
rumour be only calmly disavowed, it is understood
that these objections do not apply, and a rejection
on any other ground is not attended with disgrace.
"The second step is to send one of the most re-
spectable of his relations to propose formally: at
this stage a refusal is very rare, and, when it does
occur, an action for defamation generally ensues.
On receiving a favourable reply, the young wo-
man's friends come to inspect the premises and
property of the proposer : should these answer the
expectations formed, a relation of the bridegroom
waits on the other family with a load of four or
^Ye thousand betel-leaves. The acceptance of this
present concludes the engagement, and is irrevo-
cable by either party without incurring a legal
"The intended bridegroom then repairs to the
house of his mistress, accompanied by a few of his
relations, and taking his horoscope with him. He
solicits and receives her horoscope from her friends,
and both are then placed in the hands of an astro-
loger, who decides whether the presiding planets
at their respective births admit of their union.
There are four ways in which configurations may
take place, but an accordance in any one of them
is sufficient.
I recollect in a case tried by myself, in which
a marriage was required to be proved, that the
unpropitiousness of the stars could not prevent a
young couple from coming together. The bride-
groom's horoscope would not suit that of his in-
tended; he produced that of his younger brother,
an infant ; it corresponded : the child, carried in the
arms of an attendant, personified the bridegroom
in the procession ; and the young woman was
brought home to the ill-starred youth, who dared
not attend the ceremony. The marriage was pro-
nounced legal ; the evasion being only considered
a pious fraud, or a suitable concession made to
the will of the planets.
In some instances the bridegroom throws a
necklace round the neck of the bride at this visit,
and brings her horoscope away to his own house,
to be submitted to the astrologer there. The
horoscopes corresponding, the astrologer is required
to name a fortunate day and hour for the marriage.
On that day the bridegroom repairs to the house
bridegroom's procession. 329
of the bride, accompanied by as numerous a throng
of relations and friends as he can bring together,
(who are invited some days previously, by present-
ing betel to them placed on a white cloth,) and
taking with him the apparel, trinkets, and other
presents intended for the bride, and some prepared
victuals for the guests. Before this procession
moves, a messenger is sent with a parcel of betel-
leaves corresponding in number with the friends
who accompany the bridegroom, that the relations
of the bride may know how many guests they have
to entertain.
Similar preparations are made at the house of
the bride : the load of betel-leaves previously pre-
sented having answered the purpose of invitation
cards, the house is decorated with white cloth, and
otherwise ornamented for the occasion. When the
guests approach the premises, the bride's relations,
with their friends, sally out to meet the throng;
taking two trays of betel-leaves with them, one
for the men, and the other for the women. At
their meeting betel-leaves are presented ; and both
parties proceed to the house, the bride's relations
On arriving there, the bridegroom's feet are
washed, if a man of rank, by a servant ; and if poor,
or of low caste, by a younger brother or near
relation : a ring is thrown into that water, which
is the fee of the washer. The guests are then seated
by the host according to their respective rank, and
a feast is served : should there be a great difference
of rank, separate rooms are occupied during
meal. This chiefly occurs among the highest fa-
milies, for the bridal party will get no one to
attend their feast but their equals and inferiors
for a superior to do so, would be immediately to
reduce himself to a level with that family.
"After the meal, the bridegroom's friends pro-
duce the presents brought for the bride, A board
is then brought and placed in the centre of the
room ; it is covered with a white cloth : on this
a quantity of rice is heaped, around which cocoa-
nuts, betel-leaves, &c. are arranged so as to keep
the rice in a heap ; on the rice some coins are
strewed, gold, silver, or copper, according to the
circumstances of the family.
On the astrologer notifying that the appointed
moment is approaching, a half-ripe cocoa-nut, pre-
viously placed near the board with some mystical
ceremonies, is cloven in two at one blow. The
bride is then brought forward, and either by her
mother or some other near relation raised up, and
placed on the heap of rice, facing the direction
in which the presiding planet is pronounced by the
astrologer to be situated in the heavens. The
mother then proceeds to strip her daughter gra-
dually of all her trinkets and the ornamental parts
of her raiment ; to supply the place of these, the
bridegroom brings forward his presents. He hands
the bridal cloth to the mother, which is her per-
and in case of a divorce at any subsequent
period, owing to the misconduct of the bride, the
value of the bridal cloth is recoverable by the
husband : all the other articles pass direct from
the hands of the bridegroom to the bride. When
completely decorated, still standing on the board,
she hands betel to all the guests : after this cere-
mony, sometimes the marriage rings are exchanged,
and the bridegroom then hands his bride down
from the board ; but more frequently, instead of
the ring, a thread is drawn from the bride's cloth
with which the little fingers of the contracting
parties are tied together. The bride is handed
down by her husband ; and, when they have walked
a few paces, they pull their hands asunder.
He conducts her then to a repast prepared
for them, of which one only of the near relations
of each party partake ; and they eat out of the same
dish, in acknowledgment of their being of equal
rank. After the meal, the bridegroom has to de-
posit some money in the dish ; which, as well as the
money strewed on the board, and the cloth with
which it was covered, become the perquisite of the
washerman. The bride is then conducted home by
her husband and their friends. Until the third,
and sometimes the seventh day, the married couple,
and especially the bride, cannot lay aside their
bridal raiment ; these clothes they must have about
them, awake or asleep.
On either of those two days, early in the morn-
ing, the bride's relations come, attended by their
friends, and bringing presents chiefly of eatables,
the board is again placed, and the couple in their
bridal dresses seated on it : a relation of each party
taking a basin of water pours it on their heads at
the same moment, which is followed by a goblet
full of water; the bridal dresses are then taken
off. After the bathing, the bride's friends pay one
more formal visit, which closes the marriage rites.
Owing to the expense, even amongst the higher
classes some of these observances are omitted
there are some which the lower castes are not
allowed to adopt."
. Marriages thus arranged, with a total disregard
to the feelings of the girl, and where the knot is
as easily unloosed as it is hastily tied, preclude
the possibility of any very high standard of female
chastity; even if plurality of husbands, generally
brothers, and sometimes to the number of four or
five, did not prevent anything like a feeling of
delicacy in regard to the married state. Yet their
laws are sufficiently strict, and the wife or paramour
may be slain with impunity by the hand of a hus-
band when irritated by undoubted and ocular proof
of conjugal infidelity.
Returning in public the presents received at the
marriage is the principal formality necessary in
procuring a divorce, which is thus obtained by
either party with little difficulty. Of this facility
the fair sex very commonly avail themselves; and
certainly are not a little capricious in their number
of changes, or in the causes of dispute. The men
in general are extremely indulgent husbands, and,
fortunately, are not troubled with very jealous dis-
positions. The translation of an old saying quoted
to me in the court-house of Matale by an un-
successful suitor, who had claimed the aid of the
law to restore an unwilling and runaway wife, will
support this observation:
I 've seen the udumbara tree
in flower, white plumage on the
And fishes' footsteps o'er the deep have traced through ebb
and flow.
If man it is who thus asserts, his word you may believe :
But all that woman says, distrust ; she speaks but to deceive.
In Cingalese marriages there is no community
of property between the husband and wife
the two forms, called Beena and Deega marriage,
cause a great difference in the right of female in-
heritance. A woman married in Beena lives in the
house, or in the immediate neighbourhood of her
parents, so as to be able to cook for them, and
render them assistance in times of sickness or in
old age ; if so married, she has a right of inherit-
ance along with her brothers. If married in Deega,
that is, to live in her husband's house and village,
she loses her right of paternal inheritance, and
acquires new rights from the patrimony of her hus-
A species of fig-tree, whose flowers have never been de-
tected by the natives.
band. A Beena husband may be dismissed with
little ceremony and short notice ; and, in conse-
quence, it is a common Kandian saying,
that a
Beena husband should not remove any property
to his wife's house, except a torch and a walking-
stick, as with these he may at any time depart and
find his way."
As prejudice and habit have concurred in pro-
ducing the universal impression amongst Kandians
that a dead body pollutes the house, they gene-
rally remove any expiring relation into some de-
tached apartment, and place him with his head to
the east. If the sickness terminates fatally, the
position of the corpse is altered ; the head is then
turned to the west, the great toes are tied together,
and the body is arrayed with the best dress and
ornaments usually worn by the deceased. Only the
bodies of priests, or those of the highest ranks, were
permitted to be burned ; others were interred in a
grave with the head still to the west ; and if the
deceased left little property, and no relations were
forthcoming, it was sometimes difficult to get per-
sons for any hire to bear the corpse to the burial-
The body of one of the principal chiefs, or any
of their family, was conveyed to the funeral pile on
a sort of open palanquin, borne by slaves and at-
tended by the relations. The funeral pile consisted
of alternate layers of dry and green wood, about
four feet in height, secured by stakes at the sides,
and with strong posts at the corners ornamented
with cocoa-nut leaves. The body being placed on
the pile, which is surrounded with cloths extended
from the corners, the fire is kindled by the nearest
relations, and the whole suddenly becomes enve-
loped in fierce flames and clouds of smoke. The
fire is maintained until the body is consumed ; and
during the operation the priest, who has been called
by the relations, repeats certain forms of prayer.
After seven days the friends return, collect the
ashes, over which a small mound is raised, and, the
priest having delivered some moral admonitions, the
funeral rites are over : in many cases, the mourning,
except the dress of dark blue, may be said to cease
with the termination of the ceremonies.
For this time the processions, and, to me,
novel spectacles of native pomp in Kandy, were
at an end; and the tooth, restored to its splendid
tomb, has taken farewell of the public, probably
for ever ; for although I have since- examined this
relic, when it was shown to the next governor, Sir
R. Wilmot Horton, and the party who accompanied
him, it was in private within the temple. A public
exhibition is not again likely to take place ; and,
if it were, not only the pomp and circumstance of
outward splendour, but the enthusiasm of mind
which characterised this last festival, and gave it
a peculiar interest, would alike be found wanting.
The rain had now continued for ^our days witl-
out intermission, and the mail from Colombo did
not arrive ; but I had previously sent off a servant
(with some baggage), who was to precede us on our
return to Colombo : he, however, soon returned to
give an account of the loss of the great ferry-boat
on the Mahawelli-ganga, four miles from Kandy,
which he had seen swamped, when about thirty
people, principally priests, were drowned. Next
day, being anxious to return to Colombo, a few
Caffres volunteered, and took Captain H and
myself, with our horses, across the river, which was
still rolling down with great rapidity ; and, as the
boat was attached by a rope and pulley to a cable
stretched across, we were soon hurried safely over.
As we proceeded on our way, we found that many
of the bridges on the road, some of them new, and
one large one just completed, had been swept away;
and, in consequence, we had to swim our horses
over several streams, and at others, which were too
rapid and rocky, to repair with planks the re-
mains of the bridges. On the third day we were
still seven miles from Colombo, and there found
the country one expanse of water, in which clumps
of cocoa-nut trees were standing, many of them with
little of their stems, and in some places only their
tops to be distinguished. The unfortunate people,
whose houses or huts were overwhelmed, washed
down, or floated off, (this last was a common oc-
currence to those huts made of cocoa-nut leaves,)
were encamped in crowds
under such temporary
shelter of sheds, carts, or cloths, as they could
devise. The rain, however, had ceased
and the
extreme misery of the people was at an end.
Where little clothing and less fire are required, as
in Ceylon, the privations of the poor are incom-
parably less severe, under the accidents and ca-
lamities of seasons, than in climates of great variety
and intense severity, which are called temperate.
Heavy rains happen every eight or ten years
about the time of the year and moon which had
been selected for this festival : their expected oc-
currence was in consequence delicately hinted be-
and these slight notices were loudly repeated,
and referred to as amounting to prophecies, when
the event left the matter no longer in doubt.
Living so much in the open air, the natives be-
come good judges of the signs which precede
changes of the weather ; and, like all superstitious
people, are apt to draw inferences from appear-
ances in the sky regarding passing events in or-
dinary life.
A peculiar and beautiful meteor sometimes seen
in Ceylon, and called Buddha-rays, is supposed by
the natives only to appear over a temple or tomb
of Buddha's relics, and from thence to emanate
it is seen by day, only in clear weather, and
generally after a long-continued drought. Bud-
dhists believe that these rays appear in the heavens
as a sign to the faithful that the religion of Gau-
tama Buddha will endure for five thousand years
VOL. I. z
from the time of his death. I have often seen
these bright rays sharply defined on the blue sky,
and rising from one, sometimes from two opposite
sides of the horizon; but on one occasion, near
sunset, when in company with Captain H
witnessed this beautiful phenomenon arising from
the four points of the compass, until the gradually
expanded rays crossed in the ethereal dome.
Finding that no farther progress towards Co-
lombo could be made without a boat, we returned
to the rest-house of Mahara, and feasted on arrack
and rice-cakes. Next morning, a native having
procured a boat, we sailed over the rich country
around Colombo, and landed near the fort,
While the sun look'd smiling bright
O'er a wide and woful sight."
As I expected, so I found ; that, my servant hav-
ing been seen near the boat which was lost, a re-
port had reached Colombo that I had shared the
fate of the priests in the Mahawelli-ganga.
S weet is the breath of Morn, her rising sweet,
With charm of earliest birds
pleasant the Sun,
When first on this delightful land he spreads
His orient beams on herb, tree, fruit, and flower.
Kandy to Mdtale.
Ballakadawe Pass.

Great Bee-tree,




King Vigeya Pdla.

Venomous Snakes,



Aluewihare Rocks,

Buddhist Bible,

Lady, One Hundred Years

First Visit to Fheyla-


Stopped by Elephants.

Eheylapola Adikars History


Family, and Relations by the Kan-
dian King.
Gaulama, Demon-bird,
Great Owl.


Goddess Patine,



rental Affection,

. Curious Amusement,
Native Christian

Gasco Adikar,
his Fate.

Singhas Treatment
the Fair Sex,

Church at Wahakotta.

Kandian Oculist.

Medical Practitioner,


View from
the Kalugalla-hella Pass.

In passing from Kandy to Matale, a distance
of seventeen miles by the road formed in
Mahawelli-ganga must be crossed about three
miles from the city: at the ferry, before
z 2
the green hills and mountain peak of Dombara, and
from the opposite side, looking back, the wooded
heights and rocky range of Hantana, offer two
equally beautiful and very different landscapes.
From the Mahawelli-ganga the road passes through
seven miles of country unincumbered with forests,
until it reaches the summit of the Ballakadawe
; from thence the eye is directed through a
narrow wooded pass to the station of Matale,
situated at a distance of five miles, and seven
hundred feet lower than the top of the Ballaka-
dawe Pass.
A tree of great size, growing near the stream
in this forest pass, has for centuries marked the
limits of two districts, and beyond the memory of
the oldest inhabitant had obtained the name of
Loku-Bambera-gaha (the great bee-tree). For eight
months every year, from all its branches that stretch
over the rivulet, one hundred or more
swarms of
bees may be seen depending; each having one large
semicircular comb, of the thickness of the branch
so far as it is attached, and gradually diminish-
ing towards the edge of the circle. These insects
and their labours are considered to be under the
protection of a spirit, and from that circumstance
remain unmolested : but in 1836, when the new
road which passes near the tree was repairing, the
community, having taken umbrage at some pioneers
who were cutting down a hollow tree in their vici-
nity, sallied out, attacked the workmen, then the
pioneers who were near them, and finally put to
flight the whole party ; many of whom suffered
severely, and one carriage-bullock was stung to
death. For days after this attack the bees re-
mained in great excitement, and flying about the
road in numbers, but they did not molest passen-
and at last became reconciled to the inno-
vation on their prescriptive right of solitude.
Matale is an extensive valley encompassed with
mountains, some of which are six thousand feet
in height, but clothed with thick woods even to
their summits. In the jungles are to be found
cinnamon, as well as various kinds of citrons,
limes, oranges, mangoes, custard-apples, and jack-
fruit trees : wild plantains and cardamoms abound
in some of the forests ; and even coffee, though
not indigenous, is now found mixed with jungle-
plants, and is generally and extensively cultivated
in this district. Few objects are more to be ad-
mired than a coffee-plantation at two different
seasons ; when in flower, and when the fruit is
ripe. At the first period the stalk of every branch
and twig exhibits a mass of white flowers mixed
with its dark green glossy leaves
the perfume,
stronger, resembles that of a bean-field :
when the fruit is ripe, the branches are loaded
with berries of a rich red colour. The general ap-
pearance of a coffee-plantation is like that of a
country covered with Portugal laurels and mixed
with great forest-trees ; as, in clearing the jungle, a
portion of the shade is left to protect the plants
from the power of the sun in dry seasons.
On the plain, near the station of Matale, com-
monly called Fort M'Dowall by Europeans, many
foundations of houses point out the site of Walaba-
nuwara. It was here that the King Walagam-
bahoo established himself previous to recovering
his capital of Anuradhapoora, and expelling the
Malabar invaders of his kingdom, B.C. 90. Here,
also, the rival Kings, or candidates for the throne,
Gaja-bahoo and Siriwallaba, in the early part of
the twelfth century, occasionally held their court
and assembled their levies. In a.d. 1635, Matale
and the adjacent provinces were formed into a
separate kingdom for Vigeya Pala, who established
the royal residence at Godapola, a small mount, to
the top of which you ascend by a stone staircase
of one hundred and twenty steps ; the summit of
this knoll is square, and surrounded by a wall with
four gates. The interior buildings must have been
of frail materials, as the foundations of their walls
alone remain, and could be distinctly traced when
lately the whole site of the palace, from the in-
nermost chamber to the public judgement-seat
at the gate, was cultivated with the surrounding
parts of the royal domain. Godapola combines
many advantages in its situation, and commands
a varied and beautiful prospect ; while its position
on the verge of the Hunusgiri mountains rendered
escape easy, and concealment secure. In the forest
which covers these mountains, and three miles from
the palace, are to be seen the ruins of a building
called Kandenuwara (hill station), which had been
prepared as a place of refuge in times of danger,
and was occupied by the King before he finally
abandoned his dominions to a younger brother, the
warlike and ambitious Raja Singha.
Vigeya Pala
sought protection from the Portuguese, adopted
their religion, and died in a monastery at Goa.
An immense variety and number of snakes, both
harmless and poisonous, are found in this district,
as well as in most other parts of Ceylon ; but it
is inconceivable how few fatal
accidents happen
from their bites. The hooded snake (cobra de ca-
pello) is very numerous, and frequently
attains to
upwards of six feet in length
but different
of polonga are justly considered much
more, dan-
gerous, being less active in removing from your
approach, and their poison being more deadly.
Yet I have known a native to recover from the
bite of a very large tic-polonga
; he was a wedarall
(native medical practitioner), and, being near his
own house when the accident happened, was carried
there in a state of insensibility: on rallying, he
himself to their usual remedies, and eventu-
ally recovered ; but for months after he felt great
numbness, not only in the leg where he was bitten,
but in the whole of that side. Ope part of his
treatment was having a thin earthenware
with live charcoal placed on his head
as for
the numerous vegetable compounds which he took
internally, it is a pity that the effect of each indi-
vidual plant or preparation could not be separately
examined, to ascertain the efficient cause of cure.
The only death which occurred to my
from the bite of a snake in the Matale district,
during a period of nine years, was from that of a
hooded snake; and I have little doubt the man's
life might have been saved if he had applied to one
of the native practitioners in time. He did not,
however, state the cause of his illness until a day
after he had been bitten; and gave as a reason, that,
within that time, any one who knew of the bite and
wished him evil would have their wish gratified.
This is some remnant of a former superstition
probably the worship of the hooded snake, called
in Cingalese, Naga. The Nagas inhabiting the
western coast of Ceylon, and converted by Gauta-
ma, were probably of this class of worshippers
in no part of the country inhabited by the Cinga-
lese do you find the people willing to put this
snake to death. In the Kandian country they
often catch hooded snakes, and then convey them
at night and release them on the grounds of some
other village.
The pimbera, a species of python, is not uncom-
the largest I saw measured was seventeen
feet in length, but I have been assured from
good authority that they reach a larger size : they
twine round their prey like the boa, are not much
dreaded by the natives, and seldom seize any ani-
mal larger than a jackal.
In the Mohammedan village of Gongawelle,
very large spring of pure water rises in a basin of
white sand, which is surrounded by a wall and
overshadowed by trees. This fountain, in ancient
legends, is said to have sprung up beside Seeta
(Lakshmi), wife of Rama, who, twenty-four cen-
turies before the Christian era, rested here when
Rawena compelled her to journey from Lankapoora
to the forests in the interior of the island.
Two miles from Matal^, on the side of the new
Trinkomalee road, are situated the Aluewihare
rocks, which look as if a portion detached from the
great mountain above had been precipitated into
the plain, and riven by the shock into those pin-
nacles and rude masses which are heaped together
in so extraordinary a manner. A single solitary
cocoa-nut tree grows in a recess amongst their clefts,
and waves its thin stem and scanty leaves over
the highest of the rocks ; amongst which large
flights of blue rock-pigeons Jiave hitherto found
protection, from the sanctity of the place and
the tenets of Buddhism. I suspect, however, that
their privileges will not now be of very long con-
and that, between the increase of fire-
arms and the decay of Buddhism amongst the na-
tives, the pigeons will soon disappear. To replace
the cocoa-nut tree, I planted several in the same
cleft of the rock.
Amongst the recesses of these crags the doc-
trines of Gautama Buddha were first reduced to
writing, and under their huge masses many tem-
ples were formed at a very early period. These
temples were destroyed by the British troops in
1803, and only two out of eight have been since
restored. On one of the highest pinnacles is a
print of Buddha's footstep, similar to that on
Adam's Peak, from which it is copied
and a small
hollow is formed in the rock near it, for the pur-
pose of receiving the offerings of the pious. On
a neighbouring crag are the remains of a dagoba,
and amidst its scattered fragments a stone cut
into twenty-five compartments
in the centre one
of these the relic of Buddha had been placed,
and the remaining cells in the stone had contained
the offerings made when the relic was deposited.
Through the middle of the Aluewihare rocks there
is a broad natural street of unequal height ; to
reach this you must ascend a flight of rude steps,
then pass through a crevice, and again ascend until
you come upon a flat rock, which is pointed out
as the spot where the King Walagam-bahoo as-
sembled the priests, who here compared their texts,
which were then, or soon afterwards, committed
to writing, and form the Banapota or Buddhist
Bible. This took place about ninety-two years B.C.
and for two hundred and fourteen years previous
to that time, if not from the date of Gautama's
death, his doctrines had descended by tradition
A member of an ancient family settled from time
immemorial in the village near these temples, and
to which they possess the right of appointing priests,
was a lady one hundred years of age, who repeat-
edly walked to the court-house, and obtained my
interference to control her undutiful grandsons.
Even at that great age, she maintained with spirit
her authority over her own estate against her
troublesome descendants, and her faculties re-
mained unimpaired by their present misbehaviour
or her own former misfortunes ; amongst which were
numbered the beheading of her husband as a traitor
by the exiled tyrant, and the hanging of her son
as a rebel by the British Government.
My first visit to Eheylapola was made soon after
my appointment to the military command of the
Matale district, in November 1828, for the pur-
pose of inspecting a detachment of troops
there, and with the intention of returning
to my
own house to dinner. At that time I had no idea
of the number of elephants which infested and ra-
vaged the country
and had started in a palanquin
with eight bearers, and attended by a
carrying a double-barrelled gun, one barrel of which
was loaded with small shot. Having been
longer than I expected, it became dark; and on
my return, when still five miles from Matale,
herd of elephants was ascertained to be a little
way before us in the path : this, however,
abandoned on our advancing ; which we did, every
one at the same time shouting at the utmost extent
of his voice. About a mile further we encountered
another herd in possession of the way : on them
our clamour had no effect; and at last, as their
leader showed every disposition to charge our party,
we disposed of ourselves in different trees on the
road side. I scrambled into one which grew on the
bank of a stream, it also overhung the road ; and,
as the animals were evidently bound for the water,
I was ready to fire at the leader, in which case I
hoped to release myself and party from our present
I forgot to mention, that, in aid of our
first noisy demonstration, I had fired off the barrel
loaded with small shot, without producing any effect
on our stubborn opponents. With a herd behind
well as before, there was no way of sending to
the village, about a mile distant, to procure chules
(bundles of dried cocoa-nut leaves, which make a
great blaze when lighted) ; and we had already
waited three hours, when a boy volunteered to go
by a buffalo path through the forest, and reach the
village. As he had to pass near the elephants, all
those in the trees made a great noise to prevent
the animals from hearing his footsteps ; and, in less
than half an hour after his departure, we were grati-
fied by the blaze of numerous lights : as they ap-
proached, the hitherto persevering brutes in front
drew off with great quietness, and about ten o'clock
at night we were released from our absurd deten-
tion, and resumed our journey.
is situated nine miles from Matale,
is a large house with extensive grounds sur-
by an elephant fence : this was the usual
place of residence of Eheylapola Adikar, of whom
a short account may be interesting. He was the
representative of one of the most ancient and in-
fluential Kandian families ; and, being gifted with
shrewdness and considerable ability, became
a favourite both of the Kandian King and the
people of those districts which were entrusted to
his authority. After having filled subordinate situa-
tions with more affability than was usual with
natives of his rank, he was appointed Dessauve (col-
lector) of Saffragam ; in 1806 he became second
; and, when Pilame Talawe was beheaded
1812, Eheylapola succeeded him as first Adikar.
In 1814 Eheylapola having received insults from
the King, which were a sure prelude to this chief's
destruction, the inhabitants of Saffragam offered
to support him against the tyrant ; but he, ever
suspicious, and already prepared, gave them no
time to arrange opposition. The King immediately
announced the dismissal of Eheylapola, and the
appointment of Mollegodda as first Adikar. This
person, now entrusted with the chief authority under
the King, lost no time in collecting a numerous
force, and entered the secluded district of Saffra-
gam by the shortest way, which leads over Adam's
Eheylapola fled to Colombo ; but many headmen,

who were known to be attached to his interests,

or suspected of having promised him support, were
sent as prisoners to Kandy, and there put to death
by torture.
The King, enraged at the escape of this influ-
ential chief, and neither satiated by the number
of victims nor the excess of the tortures inflicted
on those he had already sacrificed, determined on
a deed, the perpetration of which stamps him as
the most brutal monster that ever possessed the
human form, or prostituted sovereign power to the
gratification of malignant passions. The wife and
children of Eheylapola were seized by order of the
King, and doomed to death with several of her
relations. She and her children, four in number,
were brought from the house w^here they had been
confined, to the street in front of the Queen's apart-
ments in the palace, and between the Vishnu and
Nata temples : the eldest of the four children was
eleven years of age, the youngest was still at the
breast. Each of the children was beheaded in
succession; and, the head being then placed in
a rice-mortar, the mother was compelled to go
through the act of pounding her mangled infants.
The youngest was snatched from her breast, and
the milk from its mouth actually mingled with its
life-blood a moment after. It appears extraor-
dinary that any woman could go through such a
scene ; still more so the fortitude and propriety of
her conduct, as detailed to me by a follower and
eye-witness, who at this time narrowly escaped
being impaled, and was afterwards rewarded for
his fidelity by Eheylapola Some details, which
are preserved in Dr. Davys' account of this trans-
action, my informant was not near enough to over-
but they fully corroborate the dignity of her
conduct, and show the extraordinary spirit of one
of the children. The threat of disgraceful tortures
in case she failed to comply with the orders of the
infernal tyrant was probably the stimulant which
enabled her to go through the most awful scene
to which any mother was ever subjected. The
butchery of the children having been completed,
the mother and some female relations were led to
the Bogambera tank and drowned.*
Extract from Sir Robert Brownrigg's (the Governor) official
declaration to the Kandian chiefs after the taking of the Kan-
dian country.
After mentioning
the wanton destruction of human life" by
the King then a prisoner, Sir Robert Brownrigg proceeds

One single instance of no distant date will be acknowledged
to include everything which is barbarous and unprincipled in
public rule, and to portray the last stage of individual depra-
vity and wickedness, the obliteration of every trace of con-
science, and the complete extinction of human feeling.
In the deplorable fate of the wife and children of Eheyla-
pola Adikar these assertions are fully substantiated ; in which
was exhibited the savage scene of four infant children, the
youngest torn from the mother's breast, cruelly butchered, and
their heads bruised in a mortar by the hands of their parent
succeeded by the execution of the woman herself and three
females more, whose limbs being bound, and a heavy stone tied
round the neck of each, they were thrown into a lake and
This was in 1814; early the following year the
British army took possession of the Kandian coun-
try, and the King was seized in a hut where
he had secreted himself, by a party of Saffragam
people, headed by Eknellegodda, a friend and ad-
herent to Eheylapola. The British protected this
tyrant from the vengeance of his subjects, and sup-
ported him for sixteen years as a prisoner at Vel-
lore, with an allowance greater than for years he
had been able to collect from the impoverished
country over which he had ruled. This expendi-
ture I cannot consider as an act of generous sym-
pathy to a fallen monarch or brave man; but as
a weak and culpable extravagance, in providing* so
well for an
inhuman monster whom accident had
raised to be a
King, and whose own crimes had
rendered an
made himself very popular with the
previous to the rebellion which was rais-
ed against the British Government in 1817 : he
was then arrested on suspicion, and subsequently
without being tried, to the Mauritius
at which place he died in exile a.d. 1831, aged
about fifty- six years.
From the best
information, I cannot doubt the
knowledge and concurrence of Eheylapola
in the treasons of his brother-in-law Kaepitapola,
who was the principal leader in the rebellion
; but
his confidential
were of opinion that his
object was not so much the expulsion of the
British, as the hopes of being able in some manner
to take revenge on the first Adikar, Mollegodda.
He had formerly known this chief as a cruel enemy,
seconding the wishes and enforcing the orders of
the exiled tyrant ; and now saw him, as a successful
rival, continued in possession of the highest Kan-
dian dignity under the British Government. Ehey-
lapola, however, had declined the situation of first
Adikar, offered to him by the Governor, Sir Robert
Brownrigg ; and his subsequent conduct renders
it probable that he looked higher, and felt disap-
pointed at the arrangements made by the British
on their taking possession of the Kandian coun-
It was while stopping at Eheylapola, on my way
to the native Christian village of Wahakotta in
1829, that I first heard the wild and wail-
ing cry of the gaulama, or demon-bird
a sound
which by the natives is considered as a sure pre-
sage of death or misfortune, unless they take mea-
sures to avert its infernal summons, and refuse its
Although often heard, even on the tops
of their houses, they assert it has never been caught
or distinctly seen ; and they consider it as one of
the most annoying of the evil spirits which haunt
their country. The veracious but sometimes cre-
The protest of a native under fear of this bird is somewhat
analogous to De Wilton's in Marmion :
Thy fatal summons I deny,
And thine infernal lord defy."
2 A
dulous Knox, when a prisoner with the Kandians,
after hearing its cry, pronounced it to be a devil.
It is probably a species of owl, of which there
are many diiferent kinds in Ceylon ; but certainly
its cry is far more disagreeable and melancholy (and
more like that of a human being in distress) than
any other proceeding from that ill-omened tribe.
At Matale I shot an owl, which had perched on the
top of the house after passing close to a person who
was standing in the verandah
so soft was its noise-
less progress, that, although the bird measured five
feet three inches across the wings, its flight did not
appear to stir the air in the slightest degree : this
bird nearly corresponded with the description of the
eagle-owl as given by Bewick, and the great horned
owl of Audubon.
Nine miles beyond Eheylapola's house (and eight-
een from Matale) is situated the village of Waha-
kotta, on the range of hills extending between the
Seven Korles and Matale. In the forests on the
side of Ambokke Kande, a mountain which forms
part of this chain, are situated the remains of Ran-
galla Nuwara, and at its base a temple of the same
name is dedicated to the goddess Patine. This
goddess, and this particular temple of Ambokke,
or the relics it contained, were supposed to be of
extraordinary efficacy in
preventing or averting
small-pox ; so that, when that dreadful disease raged
in Matale, the Kapurall (priest) of Ambokke was in
constant request, and reaped an abundant
from the terror and superstition of his neighbours.
Every village in the vicinity of an infected place,
by means of presents nominally offered to the god-
dess, and the most valuable of which were appro-
priated by the Kapurall, procured his presence
and the relics from the temple : these, a shield and
bangle (armlet), were borne through the village, fol-
lowed by all the inhabitants, and duly honoured by
the noise of every tom-tom, pipe, chanque-shell, or
trumpet which they could procure. The Kapu-
rall had been at a former period afflicted with the
natural small-pox, and was shrewd enough to have
his own family vaccinated ; after which his supposed
temerity in visiting infected villages, and his good
fortune in escaping contagion, were accounted for
by himself, and believed by the people to arise from
the protection of the goddess. His influence from
this circumstance was considerable, and I had rea-
son to believe that his selfishness prompted him
to use every underhand means of checking the pro-
gress of vaccination amongst the dupes by whom
he was enriching himself.
It is difficult to conceive the terror inspired
amongst the natives by the certain intelligence of
small-pox having broken out in the district ; and
on my proceeding to the village where it first ap-
peared, in order to ascertain (before a hospital was
commenced) that it was not chicken-pox, I disco-
vered the body of a woman, who had but lately
expired, lying in a field with her head close to

2 A 2
a well. Tormented by thirst, and deserted by her
friends, she had crept to the water whilst in the last
agonies of this loathsome disease. By permission
of her relations, I offered her property, including a
portion of land, to whoever would bury the body
but nothing I could say or do would induce any
one, even the most wretched pauper, to acquire
independence by interfering with a corpse marked
by the wrath of their gods.
The next case I saw was that of a man lying near
the door of his house; and even the strongly marked
and well-known features of an inferior priest of the
goddess Patine, were so disfigured, that I could not
recognise them in the blind, helpless, hopeless ob-
ject whom I addressed,the same person who had a
few days before been successful in preventing se-
veral of his neighbours from profiting by vaccina-
tion when I had visited the village with a medical
practitioner. I turned the melancholy state of this
man to the advantage of many, by contrasting the
real security of those who now accompanied me,
and had been vaccinated, with the hideous mass of
diseaseall that remained of this false teacher and
factious opposer of authority. A man of weak in-
tellect and eccentric habits, who had occasionally
been employed as a labourer near my house, then
came up and requested I would look into his house.
I did so, and found three persons, (the oldest about
eighteen years of age,) of which his family consisted,
lying in a small room: they had evidently been
carefully attended to by the old man, one of the
very few in whom feelings of affection for his family
had overcome the terror inspired amongst the Kan-
dians by this disease, called by them Mahalaida,
(the great sickness,) and which they also believe
to be a direct infliction of .the gods. The' father
gently lifted their heads, and turned their disfigured
countenances towards me : one was already dead,
and another was just expiring ; the case of the third
seemed desperate : he civilly accepted the medicine
which I offered, and joyfully received some sugar,
for this is an article that Kandians use in all their
own medicines, and when sick are very anxious to
procure. Next morning I was informed that, on
the death of his second daughter, the old man in
a paroxysm of grief caught up the only survivor,
and, carrying her several miles over a mountain
before morning, laid her down beside a temple in
another district ; there he made his offerings, and
then bore back his charge. The affectionate parent
was rewarded by the speedy recovery of his daugh-
ter, who had probably benefited by the cool moun-
tain air.
The small-pox at this time was checked without
very great loss of life ; and the active measures after-
wards taken to supply vaccinators, and to induce
the natives to profit by their exertions, will, it is
hoped, prevent any very extensive ravages from a
cause which has formerly contributed materially to
the depopulation of the island, and is probably the
red-eyed demon of pestilence who is recorded to
have swept the country of half its numbers in the
third century, and in the reign of Sirisangabo.
One of the very few active amusements which
the Kandians pursue, is connected with the super-
stitious worship of the goddess Patine ; and is more
for a propitiation to that deity, than con-
as an indulgence, or pursued as an exer-
Two opposite parties procure two sticks of
strongest and toughest wood, and so crooked as
to hook into one another without slipping; they
then attach strong cords or cable-rattans of suffi-
cient length to allow of every one laying hold of
them. The contending parties then pull until one
of the sticks gives way, and this event is announced
by shouts from the adherents of the victorious piece
of timber
; which, after being gaily ornamented, is
placed in a palanquin and borne through the vil-
lage, amidst noisy rejoicings, often accompanied
with coarse and obscene expressions. The inha-
bitants of Wahakotta profess the Christian reli-
gion, and are the descendants of Portuguese pri-
soners taken by Raja Singha, and of some of their
countrymen, who preferred retiring into the Kan-
dian country in 1640, to remaining under the Dutch
My present visit to this village was for the pur-
pose of inquiring into a dispute between the Chris-
tians and their heathen neighbours, in which I
found both parties to blame. I could not trace
any difference of features, character, or colour, be-
tween them and the Kandians of pure descent.
These descendants of Europeans were not so dark,
and were also free from the muddy complexion and
rough skin so common amongst those wearing hats
and styling themselves descendants of Europeans
in the maritime provinces.
A Portuguese named Gasco, who had been taken
prisoner when a boy, was afterwards raised to the
rank of Adikar by Raja Singha ; and is the author
of many popular poems in the Cingalese language.
Gasco was in high favour with the King, but, while
still a very young man, the too decided partiality of
the Queen cost him his life ; the last act of which
is believed to have been the composition of some
verses, and these still remain as a proof that the
judgment of the King was warranted by the guilt
of the favourite. One of the verses contains in
plainer language the following sentiments

Those thou hadst smil'd on found a tomb,

"While love requited lights my doom
Not for soft look or faltering sigh
I boldly dared and justly die
Raja Singha's treatment of the fair sex may
have been partly in consequence of the frailty
his Queen having still farther stimulated a selfish,
cruel, and tyrannical disposition : it is thus de-
scribed by Knox, who was his prisoner for twenty
His right and lawful Queen, who was a Mala-
360 RAJA SINGHA'S treatment OF WOMEN.
bar brought from the coast, is still living in the
city of Kandy, where he left her, but hath not been
with him these twenty years.
He hath many women about his kitchen, choos-
ing to have his meat dressed by them. Several
times he hath sent into the country a command
to gather handsome young women of the Chingu-
layes to recruit his kitchen, with no exceptions
whether married or unmarried ; and those who are
chosen for that service never return back again.
Once, since my being in the land, all the Portu-
guese women who were young and white were
sent for to the Court, no matter whether maids or
wives, where some remain until now ; and some,
who were not amiable in his sight, were sent
home ; and some, having purchased his displeasure,
were cast into a river, which is his manner of ex-
ecuting women : others were sent prisoners into
the country, and none admitted to speech or sight
of them.
Often he gives command to expel all the
women out 'of the city, not one to remain; but
by little and little, when they think his wrath is
appeased, they creep in again : but no women of
any quality dare presume ; and, if they would, they
cannot, the watchers having charge given them not
to let them pass. Some have been taken concealed
under man's apparel ; and what became of them
all may judge, for they never went home again."
At this time, in the Christian church at Waha-
kotta, might be seen a small figure of the Virgin
Mary wearing a silver cocked-hat (which decora-
tion was no doubt intended to be reversed, when it
would have looked like a crescent), a diminutive
Christ on the cross, and both completely eclipsed
by a long St. Michael wearing a tinsel kilt. Chris-
tianity, preached by the Nestorians, appears to have
made considerable progress at a very early period
amongst the inhabitants on the northern coasts of
and Sir John Mandeville, in the four-
teenth century, says that
in that isle (Ceylon)
there dwell good folk and reasonable, and many
Christian men amongst them."
In those early periods I cannot find any trace
of Christianity having been introduced amongst
the Cingalese natives ; and conclude that the Nes-
torian converts were entirely confined to the mixed
races inhabiting many parts of the eastern sea-
coasts and the northern lowlands. In later times
it was from the inhabitants of the island of Manar,
and the isles and coasts of the JaflPna district, that
St. Francis Xavier and the Portuguese Catholics
made their most numerous proselytes; for, in
the person who styled himself King of Jaifna,
Malabar by descent, and a follower of Siva in re-
ligion, caused six hundred of the inhabitants
Manar, converts or followers of the Christian faith,
to be massacred. The suppression of his establish-
ments, the exclusion of his faith, and the slaughter
of his followers, roused the energies of the inde-
fatigable Xavier : yet the fleet and forces he re-
ceived from the Portuguese authorities proved in-
and the expedition, with which he sailed
from Cochin in 1545, was compelled to return,
leaving the massacre of the Christians unavenged,
and their persecutor unpunished.
Within a short distance of Wahakotta lived a
celebrated Kandian oculist, whom I afterwards em-
ployed to cure a pony of a disease which in Ceylon
is common to cattle and horses, but never attacks
human beings : it is a worm that is somehow re-
ceived into the aqueous humour of the eye ; this
it first distends, then dims its colour, and eventually
destroys vision. The applications which this prac-
titioner used were, I believe, all preparations or
portions of vegetables, and seemed to give great
pain to the horse
but the cure was complete, the
insect was destroyed, and the eye eventually re-
covered its transparency.
The native medical practitioners are certainly ac-
quainted with medicines of very powerful effect in
relieving complaints of the eye
although in these,
as in most other diseases, they often do mischief
from their ignorance of anatomy.
They are par-
ticularly successful in their
management of boils
and tumours (common afflictions of the Ceylon
and, amongst many different forms of
treatment, occasionally make most daring and ex-
tensive use of the actual cautery.
The usual mode of payment to a medical prac-
titioner amongst Kandians ensures his utmost ex-
ertions to accomplish the cure of his patient, as on
that depends his own remuneration. Not trusting*
to the gratitude or generosity of the invalid, the
fee, in money or some article, such as a cloth, brass
dish, or article of jewellery, is deposited before the
case is undertaken ; if unsuccessful, the pledge
restored : a desperate case they will not undertake,
unless paid in advance. In their medical books,
along with much absurdity, it is probable that some
information and many valuable medicines might be
discovered by any one competent to examine their
directions, and analyze the number of things which
they enjoin to be compounded in the most trifling
prescription : perhaps the number of ingredients
is only to conceal the simplicity of the only useful
component part.
The native doctors acknowledge their inability to
cure hydrophobia, saying they can heal the bites,
but the gods must do the rest. Three months is
the time after which they consider any one safe
who has been bitten by a mad dog ; but in this
they are mistaken. A man employed in my service
who had been severely bitten by a mad dog, after
a lapse of three months obtained three days' leave
from me that he might go and make offerings at
a particular temple, according to his vow and the
advice of his doctor ; he returned on the third day
evidently unwell, and was soon after seized with
being a man of strong constitution, he
struggled for seven days before death
released him
from hopeless sufferings.
His wife, who had been
bitten at the same time as himself, was not attack-
ed with hydrophobia, although much frightened
her own prospect and the death of her husband.
At one time, when mad dogs were very nu-
merous in the Matale district, mad jackals were
also to be met with ; and two men, who had lain
down to rest in an open shed, were severely bitten
by a jackal, which, from their description, was evi-
dently in a rabid state : as these men were travel-
lers, I did not learn their fate ; but I have known an
instance of a horse dying from the bite of a mad
One day, in that same season, I discovered that
three terriers, which I had inherited from the com-
mandant who preceded me, were wandering about
the house, all of them suffering from hydrophobia,
and one of them so far gone as to be unable to close
his mouth : in that state I repeatedly saw the ani-
mal put his head to the water; whether he con-
trived to lap any of it I was not near enough to
ascertain. They were destroyed without having
done any mischief. A few days after this, a ser-
vant standing near the door of a room in which
my family were sitting, seeing a strange dog rush-
ing in, snatched up a rice-pounder, which fortu-
nately lay within his reach, and killed the animal
at a blow
soon after, a half-armed crowd appeared.
and recognised this as the mad dog of which they
were in pursuit.
It was about the same time that, when riding
out one evening,
I met a moorman who had been
severely lacerated by a mad dog ; but the wounds
healed up in about three weeks. Six weeks after
he had met with the accident, some of his friends
came to me in the court-house, to report that he
was so furious during the paroxysms of hydro-
phobia with which he was attacked, that they had
been compelled to fasten him up in a house, and
had given him anything they thought would be of
service to his disease through a hole in the wall;
they added, that he was rolling on the ground gnaw-
ing the earth, and had been in this state for two
They were so anxious for me to send the man
something in the way of medicine, that I advised
them to try opium ; and for this purpose a pill, as
large as a man could take with impunity, was pro-
cured from a Malay in the neighbourhood : with
this the friends of the moorman departed
and the
next report was the man's death, which had taken
place a few hours after their return. They all agreed
that he took the opium (but they could not have
seen whether he swallowed it or not) ; and that
afterwards the man was able to drink a cup of
rice-gruel, and another of coffee ; that the
then returned, and he expired.
From the extremity of the mountains, which ter-
minate abruptly near Wahakotta, the view over
the flat country that extends to the northern-
most parts of the island is extremely curious, from
the many detached rocks and precipitous moun-
tains which shoot up from amidst the forest which
covers the extensive plains of Nuwarakalawia. At
sunrise, (which was the time I arrived at the verge
of the Kalugalla pass,) and for some time after,
until the sun had obtained sufficient power to dispel
the mists, partial fogs assumed the exact appear-
ance of lakes : some of these, calm and undisturbed,
reflected surrounding objects ; while others, agitated
by a slight breeze, dashed their mimic waves against
the forest which appeared to bound these beautiful
The descent from the mountainous district at
this place to the flat country beneath was through
the wild, wooded, and romantic pass of Kalugalla-
hella (or the hill of the Black Rock) ; from which
I emerged at Gallawella, and, proceeding ten mil